Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill named replacements for Pandya, Rahul
Vijay Shankar (L) and Shubman Gill.

India have named allrounder Vijay Shankar and batsman Shubman Gill as replacements for the suspended duo of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul in the two squads for Australia and New Zealand. Shankar will join the team ahead of India’s second ODI against Australia, while Gill will join the team that is to fly to New Zealand for three T20Is and five one-day internationals starting January 23.

“Vijay Shankar will join the team before the start of the 2nd ODI in Adelaide,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said, referring to Tuesday’s match. “He will be a part of the squad for the ODI series in Australia and the tour to New Zealand. Shubman Gill has been picked for the ODI and Twenty20 series in New Zealand.” (ALSO READCoA emails Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul informing of suspensions)

This is 19-year-old Gill’s maiden Indian call-up after he enjoyed a successful Ranji Trophy season for Punjab scoring 790 runs in five matches at an average of 98.75. These include two centuries – 148 against Hyderabad and 268 vs Tamil Nadu – and five half-centuries.

However, it was during India’s victorious ICC Under-19 World Cup campaign last year that Gill first made heads turn when he was named Player of the Tournament with 372 runs in five innings, averaging 124. Gill’s stunning numbers made him an instant hit in the IPL auction where he was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders for 1.89 crore.

Shankar, on the other hand, received his third India call-up having earlier gained selectors’ attention during the Test series against Sri Lanka in 2017 and the Nidahas Trophy in 2018. In five T20Is for India, Shankar has picked up three wickets and scored 17 runs.

Part of India A’s tour of New Zealand in November, Shankar was the highest run-getter in the three 50-over matches, scoring 188 runs at an average of 94. He is also coming off back-to-back half-centuries against Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in the Ranji Trophy. Both Shankar and Gill were part of India A’s tour of New Zealand.