SURYAKUMAR Yadav is likely to lead the Indian team in the five-match T20I series against Australia with Hardik Pandya ruled out because of an injury he sustained during the World Cup. The series will begin on November 23 in Vizag and finish at Hyderabad on December 3.
The BCCI’s senior national selection committee is set to meet soon to pick the squad and given the series is coming close on the heels of the World Cup, a second-string team will be picked.
World no 1 batsman in T20 format, Yadav was appointed as the vice-captain of the T20 side during India’s tour of West Indies, where they played five matches in the Caribbean and US. With Pandya yet to recover from the ankle injury he suffered during the World Cup and a doubtful starter, the selecting committee headed by Ajit Agarkar is likely to elevate Yadav to the captaincy.
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The 33-year-old Yadav has earlier led the Mumbai team and also India Under-23 team in the Emerging Cup a few years ago. His 360 style of play has gained him immense popularity and in a short time, Yadav has become the most lethal batsman in the world in the format.
The Indian Express understands that the selection committee will give rest to the majority of players who are part of the ongoing World Cup team. Players like Ishan Kishen and Prasidh Krishna, who didn’t get much of the World Cup game will be asked to play home series against Australia.
With Rahul Dravid’s contract coming to an end after the World Cup, the BCCI have asked VVS Laxman to coach the Indian team for a stop gap arrangement and the support staff of National Cricket Academy (NCA) will be asked to look after the team.
Reason for Yadav’s appointment is after the selection committee came to know that Pandya will take at least two months to recover fully from his ankle injury.
He is likely to miss three T20I and three ODI’s games against South Africa too.
It’s not clear whether Pandya needs surgery or not.