India’s T20I series against New Zealand has been dealt a blow with the news that opening batter Ruturaj Gaikwad has been ruled out due to wrist pain. The 25-year-old, who plays for Maharashtra in domestic cricket, has checked into the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for diagnosis and rehabilitation of his injury. This is the second time Gaikwad has suffered from a wrist injury, having missed a T20I match against Sri Lanka last year due to a similar issue.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has yet to announce a replacement for Gaikwad, but there are several young players who are being considered for a maiden call-up to the national team. These include Yashasvi Jaiswal and Narayan Jagadeesan.
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Jaiswal was in the running for a spot in India’s squad for the home T20I series against Sri Lanka, but ultimately failed to make the cut. However, the U19 World Cup winner remains a strong contender to make his international debut soon. Jagadeesan, on the other hand, has been in excellent form in white-ball cricket.
He finished the Vijay Hazare tournament with 830 runs in eight matches, averaging 138.33 and striking at 125.38. He also holds the record for the highest List A score, with 277 runs off 141 deliveries against Arunachal Pradesh.
The Indian cricket team is set to take on New Zealand in a three-match T20I series starting on January 27th, with senior players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma being rested to manage their workload ahead of the Australian Test series.
The Black Caps will be led by Mitchell Santner, who has no prior experience as a captain. The visitors will be looking to take revenge for the T20I series defeat in New Zealand, where India won the three-match series 1-0 in November 2022.