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Gautam Gambhir Set to Lead India's Fresh T20I Squad

Gautam Gambhir is set to take over as the head coach of the Indian men’s cricket team, replacing Rahul Dravid. His first task will be leading the team in a T20I series against Zimbabwe which will start on July 5 at the Harare Sports Club. This series will take place shortly after the T20 World […]

Gautam Gambhir is set to take over as the head coach of the Indian men’s cricket team, replacing Rahul Dravid. His first task will be leading the team in a T20I series against Zimbabwe which will start on July 5 at the Harare Sports Club. This series will take place shortly after the T20 World Cup in the West Indies, requiring a largely new T20I squad featuring top performers from IPL 2024.

India will play five T20I matches in Zimbabwe. Reports suggest that Gambhir’s coaching role might revive Shreyas Iyer’s international career as Iyer was dropped from the BCCI’s central contract list earlier this year. Besides Iyer, several young players from the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru are expected to be part of the squad. These players include Riyan Parag, the leading run-scorer among uncapped IPL players in 2024, and Harshit Rana who was the top bowler in the same category.

According to a BCCI source, players who are currently training at the NCA, such as Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag, Mayank Yadav, Harshit Rana, Nitish Reddy, Vijaykumar Vyshak, and Yash Dayal are being considered for selection in the Zimbabwe series. This highlights a focus on developing new talent and giving IPL performers a chance on the international stage.

There is also a debate about whether senior players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will continue playing T20Is. Although they haven’t made any official statement, reports suggest that they might focus on ODIs and Tests for the upcoming season which includes nine World Test Championship matches from September 2024 to January 2025. This move could open doors for younger players to shine in the T20I series against Zimbabwe.

Experienced players like Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, and Suryakumar Yadav are likely to skip the Zimbabwe tour to rest after continuous cricketing activities since the IPL. This break will not only allow them to recharge but also give new talents a chance to shine internationally.

Alongside fresh faces, the Zimbabwe squad may also feature players such as Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan, and Khaleel Ahmed who have shown good form and are expected to play key roles.

Gautam Gambhir’s start as head coach with the Zimbabwe T20I series indicates a potential change in Indian cricket. The focus appears to be on uniting IPL stars into the international setup, aiming to build a strong group which can be capable of consistent high-level performance.

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CricketGautam Gambhirt20TDGThe Daily Guardian