India vs New Zealand: Rohit Sharma back in star-studded T20 squad to play Black Caps
India have recalled explosive opener Rohit Sharma to their star-studded Twenty20 squad for the five-match series against the Black Caps starting next Friday.
Sharma has been named vice-captain to Virat Kohli, who leads India in their first international series against New Zealand since the dramatic semifinal defeat in last year's Cricket World Cup in Manchester, England.
The right-handed Sharma, who was rested for the recent T20 series India won 2-0 at home against Sri Lanka, was the World Cup's leading run-scorer (648) and became the first batsman to notch five centuries in the same World Cup.
The Black Caps stunned Kohli's side at Old Trafford, winning by 18 runs, and India return to New Zealand after touring last summer, where they lost the T20 series 2-1 but comprehensively won the one-day internationals (ODIs) 4-1.
This summer's T20 contests start with two Eden Park fixtures and kick off a full tour including three ODIs and two tests.
Young wicketkeeper/batsman Rishabh Pant is set to wear the gloves throughout the month-long tour and pace bowler Mohammed Shami is another star returning after being rested for three T20s with Sri Lanka.
India won't arrive in New Zealand until next week as they host Australia in three ODIs beforehand, starting on Tuesday.
New Zealand's last T20 series was at home to England last November and they lost it 3-2, losing the decider at Eden Park after the tourists won the Super Over.
AT A GLANCE
India's Twenty20 squad for New Zealand
India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur.
January 24: 1st T20 at Eden Park, Auckland
January 26: 2nd T20 at Eden Park, Auckland
January 29: 3rd T20 at Seddon Park, Hamilton
January 31: 4th T20 at Sky Stadium, Wellington
February 2: 5th T20 at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui