Of late, India have rested a number of players for T20 assignments to manage their workload. But with this being the last international assignment before the IPL and then the World Cup, India will be fielding a full-strength side in the two match T20 series.
The preceding India-Australia T20 series was shared 1-1 while the Indians lost the subsequent T20 series in New Zealand 2-1.
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The Indian cricket board has expressed concerns about the safety its players and Indian fans at the upcoming World Cup in England.
The atmosphere in India is tense after a recent deadly attack in Jammu & Kashmir while relations with Pakistan have reached a low.
After a meeting between the Committee of Administrator and BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, it was decided to ask the cricketing community to end relations “with countries from which terrorism emanates”.
“Most countries from which the members of the ICC hail (including the United Kingdom) have strongly condemned this terrorist attack and expressed solidarity with India. BCCI urges the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates,” the board statement said.
The BCCI further stated that it fears for the safety of its players, officials and fans and while it has faith in the security apparatus in England, BCCI “reserves all its rights and entitlements in this regard”.
“BCCI fears for the safety and security of players and match officials participating in upcoming ICC events including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The BCCI also wishes to express its concerns over the safety and security of fans of Indian cricket at the upcoming World Cup. The BCCI trusts that the ICC and ECB will ensure that the most robust security is provided to players, match officials and fans of Indian cricket,” the statement said.
Left-arm spinning all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been named as his replacement for the five-match ODI series which starts next month while the Indians will go in with a 14-member squad for two Twenty20 matches which begin in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
“The BCCI medical team decided to rest Mr. Pandya and let him undergo strength and conditioning work for his lower back at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru,” it said. “Mr. Pandya will begin his strength work from next week.”
Pandya had returned from a serious back injury sustained during the Asia Cup in UAE in September after playing just one domestic first-class match in December.
Around the same time, he found himself in the eye of the storm following a controversial appearance on a TV show where he bragged about his encounters with women.
Pandya, along with KL Rahul who appeared on that show, were asked to leave the Australia tour that they were part of. But the Indian team management decided to call Pandya back into the squad for the limited overs tour of New Zealand the moment he played his first first-class match.
Pandya is crucial for India’s chances at the 2019 World Cup but the haste shown in his return might end up costing India. Last year, poor injury management saw India lose the services of their most potent weapon – Bhuvneshwar Kumar – for the England Test series after the seamer picked up a serious back injury during the IPL.
According to the Hindustan Times, Pandya has been asked to strengthen his core to manage his workload.