Here's why KL Rahul and Axar Patel are not part of ODI and T20I squads vs New Zealand
India is currently facing Sri Lanka in a white-ball series. After this, they will host New Zealand for three ODIs and three T20Is, starting on January 18 in Hyderabad. On Friday, the Indian selection committee announced the squad for the New Zealand series.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are not part of the T20I series, and Hardik Pandya will lead the team with Suryakumar Yadav as his deputy. Prithvi Shaw has earned his call back to the Indian side after a gap of almost 18 months, after some consistent performance at the domestic level.
Jitesh Sharma is also part of the T20I squad with uncapped pacer Mukesh Kumar. Meanwhile, for ODIs, KS Bharat has gotten his maiden call into the Indian squad. Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Ahmed are also back in the ODI squad.
However, two notable players who are not part of either of the white-ball squads are KL Rahul and all-rounder Axar Patel. These two players are currently playing in the ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka, which will end on January 15. But they will not feature in the upcoming series, which will start with a three-day gap.
However, the BCCI revealed the absence of Axar and Rahul for the coming series. They tweeted, "KL Rahul & Axar Patel were unavailable for the New Zealand Home series due to family commitments."
Indian ODI squad vs NZ: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya (vc), Ishan Kishan (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Washington Sundar, KS Bharat (wk), Yuzi Chahal, Shahbaz Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik.
Indian T20I squad vs NZ: Hardik Pandya (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Yuzi Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Shivam Mavi, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar, Prithvi Shaw.
Meanwhile, the selection committee has also announced the squad for the first two tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan got their maiden calls on the test side, while KS Bharat is part of the team in the absence of Rishabh Pant.
Jaydev Unadkat and Mukesh Kumar have retained their spots. Ravindra Jadeja is also part of the team, but his availability will depend on his fitness. The first test will start on February 9 in Nagpur. The BGT series is important for India to qualify for the WTC final.