January 24, 2017 - 3:11pm
India have added legspinner Amit Mishra and offspinner Parvez Rasool to their squad for the three T20s against England, choosing to rest their first-choice spin pair of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the series. Ashwin and Jadeja had been part of the initial 15-man squad for the series, which also includes legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
The series begins on January 26 in Kanpur, rounding off England's full tour of India.
Mishra played two Tests against England in the recent home series and picked up five wickets. In the home ODIs against New Zealand before that, he was India's top wicket-taker with 15 strikes at 14.33 and an economy rate of 4.79. He had played that series, too, in the absence of Ashwin and Jadeja, who were rested.
In all, Mishra has played eight T20Is, and taken 14 wickets at 13.71 and an economy rate of 6.40. Only one of those eight T20Is have come in the last year; before playing West Indies in Florida last August, his previous T20I was in early 2014 at the World T20 in Bangladesh where he finished as India's second-highest wicket-taker behind Ashwin.
Rasool, who is handy with the bat down the order, has played just one international game till date - against Bangladesh in Dhaka in mid-2014. It is understood that the selectors felt this series was a good opportunity to blood someone like Rasool as there were no high-profile T20I tournaments in the near future.
When Rasool was selected for India A to play England in a warm-up one-dayer in January 2013, during what was a stand-out Ranji season for him with bat and ball, he became the first cricketer from Jammu & Kashmir to be selected in an Indian team to play an international side.
Leading up to the recently-concluded ODIs against England, once again Rasool was picked to play a tour game, and he claimed 3 for 38 including the wickets of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes. In the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy, he took 38 wickets at 23.86.
In the IPL, Rasool has represented Pune Warriors, Sunrisers Hyderabad and, most recently, Royal Challengers Bangalore. In 37 T20s, he has 27 wickets at 34.44 with an economy rate of 6.88.