Shankar is a like-for-like re­place­ment for Pandya while Gill re­places Rahul in the squad for the five ODIs and three T20s in New Zealand. Both Pandya and Rahul have been sus­pended pend­ing in­quiry for their con­tro­ver­sial com­ments on women dur­ing a TV show.

With KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya set to re­turn from Aus­tralia, the All-In­dia Se­nior Se­lec­tion Com­mit­tee has de­cided to send all­rounder Vi­jay

Shankar & bats­man

Shub­man Gill as re­place­ments, said the BCCI in a state­ment is­sued late on Satur­day.

“Vi­jay Shankar will join the team be­fore the start of the 2nd ODI in Ade­laide. 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 & T20I se­ries in New Zealand,” it added.

The in­clu­sion of the high­lyrated Gill in the In­dian team was a mat­ter of time but he has got his big break sooner than he ex­pected. His KKR cap­tain Di­nesh Karthik and more re­cently se­nior Pun­jab team-

mate Yu­vraj Singh has al­ready pre­dicted a long In­dia ca­reer for Gill. Yu­vraj called Gill a very spe­cial tal­ent on the side­lines of a Ranji Tro­phy game in Kolkata last week.

He is a young guy whose bat­ting I like to watch. He is very ex­cit­ing. He should serve In­dia for a long time but that will also de­pend on how well he is looked af­ter, said Yu­vraj. Gill was part of the In­dia A squad that toured New Zealand last month.

The top-or­der bats­man is in sublime form and scored 790 runs for Pun­jab in the Ranji Tro­phy, av­er­ag­ing 98.75. He was also named player of the tour­na­ment fol­low­ing In­dia’s win in the U-19 World Cup in New Zealand last year. Mayank Agar­wal, who did well in his de­but Test se­ries in Aus­tralia, was in line to re­place his Kar­nataka team­mate Rahul but it has been learnt that he is nurs­ing a nig­gle. Ini­tially, the se­lec­tors had picked Mayank Agar­wal for K L Rahul and Vi­jay Shankar for Pandya but it has been learnt that Agar­wal is nurs­ing a nig­gle.

“That is why the team man­age­ment has asked for only one re­place­ment in Aus­tralia and that is Shankar. And Gill is be­ing re­warded for his good show in Ranji Tro­phy and Atours,” said a source close to the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee.

Shankar, on the other hand, has been in­cluded in the In­dian team for the sec­ond time af­ter T20 Ni­da­has Tro­phy in Sri Lanka. Shankar too did well dur­ing the A tour of New Zealand, fin­ish­ing as the high­est run-get­ter in the three one­day­ers.

Vi­jay will join the team be­fore the start of the 2nd ODI in Ade­laide. Shub­man picked for the ODI & T20I se­ries in New Zealand

Mail To­day/PTI

Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vi­jay Shankar. (Inset) Shub­man Gill.

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