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India vs New Zealand: Focus on Virat Kohli workload ahead of T20 team selection

Virat Kohli remains the main concern for the selectors as they get ready to announce the Indian cricket team squads for the T20 series against New Zealand and the Test series against Sri Lanka.

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Oct 22, 2017 18:24 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Mumbai
India vs New Zealand,Virat Kohli,Ravichandran Ashwin
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli plays a shot during the first ODI encounter against New Zealand in Mumbai.(AFP)

Skipper Virat Kohli’s huge workload will come up for discussion while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are expected to make a comeback when the selectors announce the Indian cricket team squad for T20 and Test series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka respectively. (IND vs NZ 1st ODI BLOG)

India will play three T20 Internationals against New Zealand in New Delhi (November 1), Rajkot (November 4) and Thiruvananthapuram (November 7). The three-match Test series against Sri Lanka starts November 16.

The Indian cricket team has been playing non-stop since Champions Trophy in England and the team management has been using rotation policy to protect players from fatigue.

However, one man who has been constantly playing across formats is Kohli.

Taking into account that Kohli will be playing all three 50-over games, by the time the New Zealand ODI series finishes, the skipper would have played three Tests, 23 ODIs and three T20 Internationals (1 abandoned) since June.

READ | India v New Zealand: Virat Kohli gets 31st ODI ton to surpass Ricky Ponting

If Kohli is rested for the T20 series with Sri Lanka Tests in mind, then Rohit Sharma will lead the national team.

In case Kohli plays the T20 series against New Zealand, it could be safely concluded that he would be rested during the limited overs leg of the Sri Lanka series before the team embarks on a tough tour of South Africa.

Coming to the Test squad, spinners Ashwin and Jadeja will be back in the Test squad after being overlooked for three consecutive limited overs series against Sri Lanka, Australia and now New Zealand.

While selectors initially maintained that Ashwin and Jadeja were rested but in the interim, Ashwin played as many as six first class matches which includes four in the County Championship for Worcestershire and two in Ranji for Tamil Nadu.

Jadeja in his only game for Saurashtra, made a statement with a double hundred and seven wickets in the game.

Test specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha will be back in the squad. Murali Vijay if fit, KL Rahul will also be back for the Test matches.

READ | David Warner urges players to have ‘inward anger’ to excel in Ashes

Kuldeep Yadav is likely to become the third specialist spinner in the Test side.

Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav are also set to make the longer version squad.

Shami has been in good form for Bengal, having taken 10 wickets in two games and more importantly bowled more than 80 overs.

However, there may be a few changes in the T20 squad keeping the rotation policy in mind.

Ashish Nehra, who is expected to retire from international cricket after the first T20 International in Delhi on November 1, may be replaced by Jaydev Unadkat or Basil Thampi for the next two games.

It remains to be seen if Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been a constant feature in the limited overs since Champions Trophy, gets some much needed rest.

First Published: Oct 22, 2017 17:55 IST