Rahul Dravid, India’s coach, has been given a break of a few days and VVS Laxman will coach the Indian team on their tour of New Zealand. Rahul’s support staff members Vikram Rathour, the batting coach, and Paras Mhambrey, the bowling coach, too have been rested and Laxman will have the former leg spinner Sairaj Bahutule and Hrishikesh Kanitkar as his deputies.
This decision has got nothing to do with India’s unceremonious exit from the T20 World Cup after England handed them a 10-wicket hammering in the semifinal in Adelaide on Thursday.
Laxman is the chief of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. It’s not the first time Laxman will be travelling as coach with the Indian team. He was on duty during India’s tour of Ireland, followed by one T20 game against England. With the Indian team playing back to back series. Laxman was also travelled with the team in Zimbabwe.
In New Zealand, Hardik Pandya will lead in the T20Is while Shikhar Dhawan will be captain for the ODI leg with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, along with a few others, rested for the tour. Pandya had led India for the Ireland T20Is in June as well.
Pacers Kuldeep Sen (Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan Royals) has received his maiden call-up, for the New Zealand and Bangladesh ODIs, respectively. Both were part of the India ‘A’ side for the New Zealand ‘A’ series recently.
Also, Umran Malik, India’s fastest bowler, who had played three T20Is in Ireland and England, is back for the New Zealand tour.
Senior players Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin have been rested for the tour, the entire coaching staff has also been given a break after the T20 World Cup.
T20Is: Hardik Pandya (C), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (VC and WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik
ODIs: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (VC and WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Shahbaz Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Sen, Umran Malik