India have called up Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer and Hyderabad fast bowler Mohammed Siraj for the three-match Twenty20 International series against New Zealand, starting November 1.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary on Monday announced the 16-member squad, which will be led by Virat Kohli.
Despite speculation, skipper Virat Kohli has decided against taking rest from the New Zealand T20Is. However, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad indicated that a "rotation policy will be applicable" for the captain as well. It is expected that Kohli will be rested for the final Test and the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, which is slated in December as he would be required fresh and re- energised before the tough tour of South Africa.
Meanwhile, Ashish Nehra has been picked only for the first T20I, which will be last international match.
"Iyer has been prolific across formats - in first-class, one-dayers, T20 - he's been performing consistently," MSK Prasad, India's chairman of selectors, said. "If we pick a player, we will give him a long run. The same applies for Siraj."
Iyer has performed consistently for India A and he was the third-highest run-scorer in the tri-series featuring South Africa A and Afghanistan A. In the recently-concluded series against New Zealand A, he slammed three fifty-plus scores in four innings, including one hundred.
Meanwhile, Siraj was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 2.6 crore from a base price of INR 20 lakh in last season's players auction. Siraj played a key role for Hyderabad in his first full Ranji Trophy season as his team reached the knockouts for the first time in five seasons. Siraj got 10 wickets in the 6 matches he played for Sunrisers in 2017.
Young wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have retained the places along with opener Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. However, pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been rested.
India squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ashish Nehra (only for first T20I)