Reports: Hardik, Bhuvneshwar likely to be dropped from New Zealand T20Is

Contrary to the expectations, Team India have had a horrendous time in the ongoingT20 World Cup 2021. The Virat Kohli-led side lost their first two fixtures against Pakistan and New Zealand respectively, getting virtually knocked out of the semi-final race. With several Indian players not living up to the expectations, the BCCI selectors are reportedly set to take some major decisions for the upcoming three-match T20I series against New Zealand.

The series gets underway on November 17, just three days after the conclusion of the global event. With the next T20 World Cup, which is slated to be played in Australia, being less than a year away, the national selection committee is keen to check out as many players as possible by June next year when the home season ends.

As per an article in Mint, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are set to face the axe for the upcoming series. While Hardik hasn’t been able to bowl regularly due to fitness concerns, Bhuvneshwar has been utterly out of form lately. Although these two players are proven stars of the T20 format, selectors want to welcome some fresh faces ahead of next year’s global competition.

Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been out of touch lately

While the duo is set to be dropped, speedsters Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah will be getting a much-needed rest. With the prominent names going out, newcomers are set to don the national jersey. Veteran leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is also expected to make a comeback.

“It is expected that Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is in poor form, and Hardik Pandya, whose fitness remains an unresolved mystery, are likely to be dropped from the T20 squad against New Zealand,” claimed the report.

“Some of the proven IPL performers like Orange Cap holder Ruturaj Gaikwad, one of the top wicket-takers Avesh Khan, seasoned leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal are going to be back in the mix as the likes of Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah get some much-needed rest,” it read further.

Meanwhile, all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, who might be seen as Pandya’s alternative, may also get a maiden national call-up. At the same time, Bhuvneshwar’s Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate Umran Malik may also be considered for the New Zealand series.