Off late, current India T20I captain Hardik Pandya had to face a lot of questions over not playing Sanju Samson and Umran Malik during the games against New Zealand. To this, Pandya replied by saying: "ye meri team hai, coach aur mujhe jo sahi lagega, jo side hame chahiye hoga ham wo khilayenge (It's my team, whatever team combination me and the coach feels is right will be played). Pandya also said that those who haven't got the chance to play will eventually get their chance.
Samson, who has a good track record in T20 cricket, and Umran Malik, the star bowler from Jammu, were highly anticipated to play in the T20I series against New Zealand. But much to the surprise of the fans, the team management decided to bench them.
After India's disappointing run in the T20 World Cup, there was a lot of talk of resting few big names like KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma who coudln't deliver with the bat. Even Mohammad Shami, team's senior most pacer, struggled in big matches. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently sacked the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee after the team faired poorly in the Asia Cup and then in the T20 World Cup.
There are also talks of making Hardik Pandya the permanent T20I captain. But before that, it's also high time the team management benches some underperforming players so that youngsters who haven't got much exposure to international cricket get their chance.
Here are the three players, the team can rest for sometime:
1. Rishabh Pant: Rishabh Pant's form has dipped in the recent past. The 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has struggled to even cross 30 runs in his last five T20I matches. He replaced Dinesh Karthik in the T20 World Cup semi-final against England, but he could score only six runs.
2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Though Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been economical in the New Zealand series, the 32-year-old bowler can be rested in the shorter format of the game and instead played in the ODIs and Tests.
3. Mohammad Shami: In the shorter format, Mohammad Shami can be a misfit at times, as we saw in the T20 World Cup.