XtraTime Web Desk: Shubman Gill and Vijay Shankar have been called up to India’s white-ball squads in place of the suspended duo of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul.
They were sent home following comments they made on Indian talkshow ‘Koffee with Karan’, and will be suspended until an inquiry into their behaviour takes place. Shankar will join up with the squad ahead of the second ODI against Australia while Gill will join the team for the New Zealand tour only.
The replacements may be inexperienced – Gill has yet to make his international bow while Shankar has just five T20I caps to his name – but both are in form and represent like-for-like substitutions.
Gill is a middle-order batsman who was the Player of the Tournament for India during the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2018, and has only gone from strength to strength since then. His Ranji Trophy form has been stunning, with his average for the season standing at 103, while he has an average of 47.72 from 37 List A games.
Shankar is a seam-bowling all-rounder, and while he didn’t set the world alight on his first foray into international cricket, he has impressed for India A. He was the side’s leading run-scorer in their recent series against New Zealand A, and has an average of 48.55 from 14 India A 50-over games.
India lost the first ODI against Australia by 34 runs. They will play two more games before heading to New Zealand, where they will play five ODIs and three T20Is.