KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya are set to return back home after being suspended by BCCI for their ‘crass’ remarks on women during a TV show. Mayank Agarwal and Vijay Shankar are set to replace the pair in India’s ODI squad for the remaining of the Australia tour.
“Mayank Agarwal for KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar for Pandya are like-for-like replacements suggested by the selectors. They will be joining the team at the earliest,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.
Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul will return home on the first available flight from Australia as the BCCI suspended them Friday for their outrage-evoking comments on women, hours after the duo’s on-field leader Virat Kohli expressed his disapproval. BCCI has decided to call-up opener Agarwal and the allrounder Shankar, who are both uncapped at ODI level, to the 50-overs side.
Agarwal, who made his Test debut in the just-concluded series, is back to India. As part of India A tour of England in the mid-2018, Agarwal was the leading run-scorer with 287 runs from four ODI games. Agarwal then continued his rich vein of form by scoring 236 runs in a quadrangular tournament in India. It followed a double-century for India A versus South Africa A during a four-day match.
The Tamil Nadu allrounder Shankar has already played five T20Is for India. He had a successful tour of New Zealand with India A last month, scoring 87*, 59 and 42 in three one-day games. In the ongoing Ranji Trophy, he has three fifties in five innings and one wicket.
While there is little chance of Agarwal playing in the series as India have a set opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Shankar, on the other hand, may get a chance if India decide to go with 2 pacers and 2 spinners and take him as a medium pace option.