Venkatesh Iyer, Gaikwad, Harshal Likely For NZ T20Is; Kohli Seeks Rest

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Venkatesh Iyer, Gaikwad, Harshal likely for NZ T20Is; Kohli seeks rest. Venkatesh Iyer had a sparkling UAE-leg of IPL 2021

Venkatesh Iyer, Gaikwad, Harshal Likely For NZ T20Is; Kohli Seeks RestVenkatesh Iyer had a sparkling UAE-leg of IPL 2021

The Chetan Sharma-led National Selection Committee will meet in the next few hours to pick the squads for the forthcoming T20I and Test series at home against New Zealand. The emphasis, it is understood, will be on new faces.

With Virat Kohli deciding to relinquish the T20I captaincy, there will be a new captain too. Rohit Sharma will be the obvious choice for the leadership role, but the inputs of the new captain will be the key to the selection of the new players.

Rohit, who is still in Dubai, is expected to attend the selection committee meeting via video conferencing on Tuesday (November 9) evening, even as the sources in BCCI have revealed that Virat Kohli has asked for rest, not only for the T20Is but also for a Test. He may be back for the second of the two-Test series.

The word from Dubai, from where most players have left after India's T20 WC campaign ended on Monday (November 8), is that the T20I squad will have a new bunch of players with most seniors (Kohli, Hardik Pandya and overworked pacers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami), set for a break.

The likes of Venkatesh Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Harshal Patel, impressive performers in the recent IPL, will be in fray, as will Yuzvendra Chahal, a regular in the national white ball squads not too long ago. Young seamer Umran Malik, considered the fastest bowler in India, is in the selectors' radar too, but the thinking is that he should be tried in an A series first. He might be in flight soon to South Africa with the A series.

The selectors are unlikely announce the Test squad soon and so there is no confirmation on who will lead the Indian team in the first Test for which Kohli is unlikely to be available. India play three T20Is in Jaipur (November 17), Ranchi (November 19) and Kolkata (November 21). The two subsequent Tests will be played in Kanpur (November 25-29) and Mumbai (December 3-7).

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the selected players and the new coaching staff under Rahul Dravid will be asked to report at Jaipur, the venue of the first game, on November 12. Initially, it was planned that the new coaching staff should be at the venue of the first game by November 10 but the arrangement had to be changed in view of the delay in the interviews for the assistant coaches – batting, bowling and fielding – of the team. It is expected that the interviews will take place late on Tuesday evening or on Wednesday morning.

BCCI waiting to hear from Laxman for NCA role

The BCCI office-bearers have had a few meetings with VVS Laxman, tipped to replace Dravid as the head of the National Cricket Academy, and believe he will give consent but the batting legend has not yet formally given his nod.

It is learnt that Laxman, not very keen to move to Bangalore, is under pressure to take up the job. But an alternative plan has been also put in place in case Laxman does not relent. Vikram Rathour, the current batting coach of the Indian team, may be asked to take over the reins of the NCA as one school of thought in the BCCI is that the team does not need a batting coach when Dravid, himself a batting great, is part of the coaching staff.

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