The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that opener Sai Sudarshan, wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma, and fast bowler Harshit Rana will replace Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube, and Yashasvi Jaiswal for the first two T20 Internationals against Zimbabwe. The initial match of the five-game series is scheduled for July 6 at Harare Sports Club. The series finale, along with all other matches, will also take place at the same venue, concluding on July 14.

Samson, Dube, and Jaiswal, members of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 squad, are currently unable to leave Barbados due to disruptions caused by Hurricane Beryl. (‘Tu Bhi Trophy Pakad Le’: Story Behind Rohit Sharma And Virat Kohli’s Iconic Viral Photo That Marks India’s T20 World Cup Success)

A statement by BCCI said, “The Men’s Selection Committee has named Sai Sudharsan, Jitesh Sharma and Harshit Rana as replacements for Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube and Yashasvi Jaiswal for the first two T20Is against Zimbabwe.”

Originally slated to join the Zimbabwe-bound squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series starting Saturday, July 6, the trio will travel to India first with the rest of the ICC T20 World Cup-winning Indian squad before departing for Harare.

The World Cup-winning Indian cricket team remained stranded in Barbados after a Category 4 hurricane hit the Caribbean islands at Bridgeton in Barbados which has imposed a lockdown. Flights have been cancelled delaying the team’s departure. Hurricane Beryl with Strong winds and rain due to hurricane Beryl lashing through Barbados and neighbouring islands since Sunday.

Electricity and water supply have also been affected in the country, which hosted the ICC T20 World Cup final between India and South Africa. Currently, the Men in Blue are staying at a hotel in Barbados as the main international airport was shut.

Speaking to reporters, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah who is accompanying the team said that they are “stuck” in Barbados and will think about the felicitation once the travel plans are clear.

“Like you we are also stuck here. After the travel plans are clear, we will think about the felicitation,” Shah was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying.

The squad features just two players from the main squad for the T20 World Cup: Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson. The rest of the squad who are part of T20 WC has been rested.

The likes of Rinku Singh, Avesh Khan and Khaleel Ahmed who are in the reserves player list of the T20 World Cup touring party, have also been added to the squad. Promising young players who have proven themselves in the Indian Premier League and domestic arena over the past 12 months have received multiple call-ups from India.

Zimbabwe Cricket on Monday announced the squad for their upcoming series against the T20 World Cup 2024 champions, India. In the five-match T20I series, Zimbabwe have named a young squad to face India, who will miss a majority of their key players as well.

The Belgian-born Antum Naqvi has been named in the squad, but his inclusion is subject to the confirmation of his citizenship status. In the domestic circuit, he boasts an impressive strike rate of 146.80 in the T20 format. In first-class cricket, he has an impressive average of 72.00, and in List-A cricket, he boasts an exceptional average of 73.42, which underlines his massive potential before he steps at the international level.

After failing to qualify for the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2024, Zimbabwe will aim to rebuild under new head coach Justin Sammons. Zimbabwe have picked a young squad with an average age of 27, and that has a total of 558 T20I appearances under their belt.

Sikandar Raza, at 38, will continue to lead the side. With 86 matches to his name, he is Zimbabwe’s most experienced player, followed by 29-year-old Luke Jongwe, who has made 63 appearances.

India’s squad for T20I series against Zimbabwe: Shubman Gill (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Abhishek Sharma, Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Nitish Reddy, Riyan Parag, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Mukesh Kumar and Tushar Deshpande.

Zimbabwe Squad for T20I Series against India: Sikandar Raza (captain), Akram Faraz, Bennett Brian, Campbell Johnathan, Chatara Tendai, Jongwe Luke, Kaia Innocent, Madande Clive, Madhevere Wessly, Marumani Tadiwanashe, Masakadza Wellington, Mavuta Brandon, Muzarabani Blessing, Myers Dion, Naqvi Antum, Ngarava Richard, Shumba Milton. (ANI)

India’s squad for 1st & 2nd T20I against Zimbabwe: Shubman Gill (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Abhishek Sharma, Rinku Singh, Dhruv Jurel (WK), Riyan Parag, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Mukesh Kumar, Tushar Deshpande, Sai Sudharsan, Jitesh Sharma (WK), Harshit Rana.