India vs West Indies: Krunal Pandya in line to make T20I debut
Krunal Pandya is set to play his first international match. (Getty Images)

Krunal Pandya is set to make his international debut for India after the allrounder was named in India’s 12-member team for the first T20I against West Indies on Sunday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Pandya was included in India’s squad for the three T20s against England earlier this year but never got to play the game. However, with Hardik Pandya out injured there is a big possibility of the other Pandya brother to fill in.

Krunal’s selection was waiting to happen since the Baroda allrounder delivered Man-of-the-Match performances in the last IPL season’s semi-final and final as Mumbai Indians surged to the title. In this year’s IPL, after Mumbai Indians bought him back for Rs 8.8 crore – the most for an uncapped player at the auction – Krunal scored 228 runs at a strike-rate of 145.22 and claimed 12 wickets while conceding runs at 7.07 per over.

This earned him selection for India A’s tour of England, where he contributed three wickets at an economy rate of 5.44 and 37 runs in two innings to the team’s tri-series victory before being called up to India’s T20I team. During the quadrangular one-day series in August, Krunal made 96 runs in four innings for India A to go with four wickets at an excellent economy rate of 4.80.

The team that was announced by the BCCI had no mentions of the other uncapped spinner, Shahbaz Nadeem, who might have to sit and wait to get his India cap. There was no place for Umesh Yadav either, in which case, India look primed to go ahead with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Khaleel Ahmed as their three fast bowling options, along with Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav as the two spinners.

KL Rahul is likely to take up Virat Kohli’s No. 3 spot followed by Dinesh Karthik at 4, who was also included. Shreyas Iyer, despite piling runs for Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare Trophy will have to wait to play his first international match since February.

India’s 12-member team: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (wk), Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal