The BCCI selection committee is set to announce India Test and ODI squads for their upcoming tour of New Zealand on Sunday.

While there aren’t many changes expected in the Test squad, KL Rahul’s stupendous limited-overs success makes him a strong candidate to force his way back into the red-ball squad. His return seems more likely when put against the backdrop of India captain Virat Kohli saying it’s hard to keep the top-order batsman out of any format.

However, if he does make the Test squad, he’ll likely return as a reserve Test opener, a role that Shubman Gill was assigned recently.

A fit-again Prithvi Shaw is also in contention.

Owing to the seam-friendly conditions Team India is likely to encounter in New Zealand, the selectors could opt for an extra pacer in Navdeep Saini meaning chinaman Kuldeep Yadav could be left out. Ravichandran Ashwin and allrounder Ravindra will be the first-choice spinners.

The selectors though will have to debate over the fitness of allrounder Hardik Pandya who was last week pulled out of India A squad currently in New Zealand for a shadow tour. He was reportedly deemed unfit to bowl, having failed the mandatory ‘bowling workload test’.

Due to this, his personal trainer S Rajnikanth advised him to withdraw from the India A tour.

Should Pandya not be selected for the ODIs, Mumbai pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Suryakumar Yadav could also be considered.

A BCCI source told PTI that Kedar Jadhav isn’t going to play 2023 world cup and since he doesn’t even bowl, there’s no point him being part of the New Zealand tour. “Kedar is certainly not going to play 2023 World Cup and doesn’t even bowl now. Since he is not in T20, no point in carrying him to New Zealand. Possibly Surya or Rahane should be tried,” the source claimed.

India will kickstart their New Zealand tour with a five-match T20I series from January 24.