Former Indian spin wizard Harbhajan Singh on Wednesday revealed his 15-man India squad for the upcoming T20I series against West Indies. Naming Hardik Pandya as the captain, the ‘Turbanator’ left out experienced batters such as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, saying that they deserve to be rested. Instead, young players such as Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rinku Singh, and Tilak Varma, all of whom impressed during the recently concluded IPL 2023 season should be given a chance.
Harbhajan also included the likes of Jitesh Sharma and Akash Madhwal, both of whom impressed for their respective franchises in IPL.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Harbhajan, who is still in London after covering the World Test Championship (WTC) final said that the team led by Pandya would be capable of beating any side in the world, and playing against the West Indies would help the youngsters get some much-needed exposure.
“Under the captaincy of Hardik Pandya, if a young team is given chances, it would help secure the future of Indian cricket. For the West Indies series, the remaining senior players such as (Ravindra) Jadeja, Virat (Kohli) and Rohit (Sharma) should be rested, and the young blood must be tested,” said Harbhajan.
The 42-year-old picked Shubman Gill and Jaiswal as his two openers, alongside Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan also made the cut and so did the world’s number 1 ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav.
Singh also included the likes of Rinku, Tilak and Jitesh, all of whom showed promise in the IPL 2023 season while representing their respective sides.
‘Bhajji’ also picked Pandya as his captain, and Axar Patel as his all-rounder while including Ravi Bishnoi and Yuzvendra Chahal as the spin options, alongside the likes of Arshdeep Singh, Harshit Rana and Madhwal as his pacers.
India’s tour of the West Indies is set to commence on 12 July with a two-match Test series as the Men in Blue begin their World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle on away soil.
A three-match ODI series as part of India’s preparation for the upcoming ODI World Cup will also be played between the two teams between 27 July to 1 August, whereas the five-match T20I series will take place between 3-13 August.