Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar and rookie Punjab opener Shubman Gill will replace the suspended Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for the ongoing ODI series in Australia and the limited overs series in New Zealand, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Saturday. While Shankar will replace Pandya for Australia series, Gill will replace Rahul fro New Zealand tour later this year. The 27-year-old Shankar is a middle-order batsman from Tamil Nadu who can also bowl medium pace. He has played in five T20s. Initially, Mayank Agarwal was chosen as KL Rahul's replacement and Vijay Shankar for Pandya but sources said that Agarwal is nursing a niggle.
"Initially, the selectors had picked Mayank Agarwal for K L Rahul and Vijay Shankar for Pandya but it has been learned 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 A-tours,” news agency PTI quoted a source as saying.
Pandya and Rahul have been suspended pending an inquiry into their sexist comments on a TV show, ruling them out of the three-match ODI series against Australia. They have already returned home from Australia. The suspension of the duo came after Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji said that they should be suspended until the further course of action.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli had also criticised the duo for the remarks and said that their views didn't reflect the Indian cricket team and were purely individual.
“From the Indian cricket team point of view, any inappropriate comments that are made in that scenario are something that we definitely don't support. We definitely as the Indian cricket team do not support views like that and that has been communicated (to the two players). I can definitely say that as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers we definitely don't align with those views and those are purely individual views,” Kohli had said.
Following the row over his remarks, Pandya had even issued an apology and apparently, expressed ‘regret’ over the comments when he responded to the show cause notice. The all-rounder has said the mistake will not be repeated in the future.
Replying to question during a chat show, Pandya had said, “I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I'm little from the black side so I need to see how they move." The all-rounder had also boasted about his sex life and how he casually discussed it with his parents.