Samson dropped and Sharma returns for NZ T20Is

Rohit was rested for Sri Lanka series

Rohit Sharma in action for India

Batsman Rohit Sharma has returned to India's T20I squad for this month's five-T20I series against New Zealand.

Sharma was rested for the recent T20I series against Sri Lanka. India won that three-match series two-nil, after a washout in Guwahati and victories in Indore and Pune.

India will host Australia for three ODIs before meeting New Zealand. Bet365 have India priced at 1.57 and Australia 2.37 to win the ODI series.

Samson replaced fellow wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant for the Pune T20I. He made one stumping and fell for six runs.

“As a team, we wanted to give chance to everyone and that's why they've been rotating players. Until the T20 World Cup comes, everyone is refined and know their job as well. It is more to give players time, like how Sanju came in, then Shreyas Iyer, so they can get more time in the middle, because it is a totally different field when you are batting in the match and having more overs and so that was the reason,” said team-mate Shikhar Dhawan of Samson's selection at the time.

Who else is with Sharma in the squad for NZ T20Is?

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami was also rested for the Sri Lanka series, but has returned to to the squad to face New Zealand. Wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, too, are in the squad. All-rounder Shardul Thakur, meanwhile, has been retained.

“It's all his good work and I'm not doing anything. He's somebody who can bat – all of us knew that. The last couple of games he got the opportunity to show what he can do. So he gives you a great option in late order,” said India batting coach Vikram Rathour.

Eden Park in Auckland will host the first two T20Is. Seddon Park in Hamilton, Westpac Stadium in Wellington and the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui will host the third, fourth and fifth T20I, respectively. Three ODIs and two Tests will follow.

India and New Zealand have contested 11 T20Is. The former have won eight and the later three.

T20 squad for NZ T20Is

Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami.

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