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Sudarshan, Jitesh and Harshit added as replacements in Indian squad for Zimbabwe tour

Sudarshan, Jitesh and Harshit added as replacements in Indian squad for Zimbabwe tour

The first match of the five-match T20I series between India and Zimbabwe will be played on July 6 at the Harare Sports Club. The final T20I will be played on July 14 at the same venue, where all five matches will be held

Harshit Rana (Photo: File photo)

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Ahead of the Zimbabwe T20I series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced that Sai Sudarshan, Jitesh Sharma and Harshit Rana will replace Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube and Yashasvi Jaiswal in the first two matches.

The first match of the five-match T20I series between India and Zimbabwe will be played on July 6 at the Harare Sports Club. The final T20I will be played on July 14 at the same venue, where all five matches will be held.

After the T20 World Cup 2024Samson, Dube and Jaiswal are stuck in Barbados due to Hurricane Beryl.

A statement from the BCCI said: “The men’s selection committee has named Sai Sudharsan, Jitesh Sharma and Harshit Rana as replacements for Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube and Yashasvi Jaiswal for the first two T20Is against Zimbabwe.”

They were originally due to join the Zimbabwe squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series starting on Saturday, July 6. The trio will first travel to India with the rest of India’s ICC T20 World Cup-winning squad before heading to Harare.

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The World Cup-winning Indian cricket team has been stranded in Barbados after a Category 4 hurricane hit the Caribbean islands near Bridgeton, Barbados, forcing a lockdown. Flights have been cancelled, delaying the team’s departure. Hurricane Beryl has been battering Barbados and neighbouring islands since Sunday with strong winds and rain. Power and water supplies have also been affected in the country, which was hosting the ICC T20 World Cup final between India and South Africa.

The “Men in Blue” are currently staying in a hotel in Barbados as the main international airport is closed.

Jay Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who is accompanying the team, told reporters that they are “stuck” in Barbados and will consider congratulating them once travel plans are clear.

“Like you, we are also stuck here. After the travel plans are clear, we will think about the congratulations,” Shah was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

The squad consists of only two players from the main squad for the T20 World Cup: Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson. The rest of the squad that is part of T20 WC has been rested. Players like Rinku Singh, Avesh Khan and Khaleel Ahmed who are on the reserve list of the T20 World Cup touring party have also been added to the squad.

Promising youngsters who have proven themselves in the Indian Premier League and domestic arena over the past 12 months have received multiple call-ups from India. Zimbabwe Cricket on Monday announced the squad for their upcoming series against 2024 T20 World Cup champions India.

In the five-match T20I series, Zimbabwe have named a young squad to face India, who will also be without many of their key players. Belgian-born Antum Naqvi has been named in the squad, but his participation is subject to confirmation of his citizenship status.

In the domestic circuit, he has an impressive strike rate of 146.80 in the T20 format. In first-class cricket, he has an impressive average of 72.00 and in List-A cricket, he has an exceptional average of 73.42, which underlines his immense potential before he steps up to the international level.

After failing to qualify for the recently concluded 2024 T20 World Cup, Zimbabwe will focus on rebuilding under new head coach Justin Sammons. Zimbabwe have assembled a young squad with an average age of 27, who have made 558 T20I appearances. Sikandar Raza, 38, will continue to lead the side. With 86 games to his name, he is Zimbabwe’s most experienced player, followed by 29-year-old Luke Jongwe, who has made 63 appearances.

India’s squad for T20I series against Zimbabwe: Shubman Gill (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Abhishek Sharma, Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Nitish Reddy, Riyan Parag, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Mukesh Kumar and Tushar Deshpande.

Zimbabwe squad for T20I series against India: Sikandar Raza (captain), Akram Faraz, Bennett Brian, Campbell Johnathan, Chatara Tendai, Jongwe Luke, Kaia Innocent, Madande Clive, Madhevere Wessly, Marumani Tadiwanashe, Masakadza Wellington, Mavuta Brandon, Muzarabani Blessing, Myers Dion, Naqvi Antum, Ngarava Richard , Shumba Milton. (ANI)

India’s selection for 1st and 2nd T20I against Zimbabwe: Shubman Gill (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Abhishek Sharma, Rinku Singh, Dhruv Jurel (WC), Riyan Parag, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Mukesh Kumar, Tushar Deshpande, Sai Sudharsan, Jitesh Sharma (WC), Harshit Rana.

(With ANI inputs)