All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been appointed as the captain of the Indian cricket team for the upcoming tour of Ireland. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been named his deputy.
The 17-member team selected for the Ireland tour features a maiden call-up for Rahul Tripathi following a good season with Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022. Meanwhile, Suryakumar Yadav who missed the home series against South Africa due to a forearm injury makes a comeback into the squad alongside wicket-keeper batter Sanju Samson.
"I am very happy that the selectors and everybody believed in me and whatever hard work I have put in, I have got the rewards. And hopefully, if I get an opportunity to play, I will try and give my best," Tripathi told PTI.
The Indan team is set to play a two-match T20 international series in Ireland starting June 26 while the Test team regulars will be in England to play the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston.
Meanwhile, Pandya, who led the Gujarat franchise to the IPL title this year, has had a transformative year. The 28-year-old has not just proved his fitness with the ball but his captaincy has also received plaudits from former cricketers.
"I think he deserves that. Going forward, Indian selectors should look at him seriously leading in white-ball cricket specially if Rohit Sharma is not available, I think Hardik Pandya should be the first choice," former India batsman Wasim Jaffer said on ESPNcricinfo on Hardik Pandya’s appointment as captain.
"Hardik Pandya, especially in white-ball cricket, he's somebody who enjoys that job and gets the best out of himself and others. He's probably my next in line after Rohit Sharma," The former India opener further explained.
The squad for the Ireland tour is more or less similar to the one playing the home series against South Africa barring Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant who will be joining the Test squad in England following the conclusion of the T20I series.
VVS Laxman will coach the Indian team for the Ireland tour in absence of Rahul Dravid, who will be with the Test team in England. Laxman will be assisted by batting coach Sitanshu Kotak, bowling coach Sairaj Bahutule and fielding coach Munish Bali.
India’s squad for Ireland tour: Hardik Pandya (captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik