Rahul Dravid’s first assignment as India coach will see a new-look side – led by Rohit Sharma – take on World Cup finalists New Zealand in a three-match T20I series, which begins in Jaipur on Wednesday.
Virat Kohli announced in September that he would leave the T20 captaincy following the World Cup.
Kohli’s tenure ended in a disaster, as the pre-tournament favourites crashed out in the group stages.
Kohli’s decision to step down as T20 captain also coincided with the departure of head coach Ravi Shastri who is touted to join Ahmedabad’s IPL franchise.
As a result, Rohit and Dravid have been tasked with spearheading a new era for India in the shortest format of the game.
Rohit has led Mumbai Indians to a record five IPL titles since being appointed permanent captain in 2013.
Even Dravid has hailed the leadership skills of the 34-year-old.
The quartet of Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested for the series.
Despite forming an integral part of India’s T20 side over recent years, all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been omitted.
The new entrants include 3 players who had a sensational stint in the IPL.
Venkatesh Iyer, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan have earned call-ups.
Ruturaj Gaikwad – the top run-scorer in the 2021 IPL – has been rewarded with a recall following his prolific form for Chennai Super Kings.
Yuzvendra Chahal also returns to the fold, having been a surprise exclusion from the T20 World Cup squad.
Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel are also included in the 16-man squad following their absence in the UAE.
Rohit’s opening partner KL Rahul has been named vice-captain, with Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin also set to feature.
New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson will miss the three-match series, instead opting to focus on the Test Series which gets underway in Kanpur on November 25.
Pacer Tim Southee will take over the reins in Williamson’s absence.
Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj.
New Zealand squad:
Tim Southee (capt), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi.