Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag, Nitish Reddy in India's T20I squad for Zimbabwe tour

The squad will be led by Shubman Gill and will play five matches in Zimbabwe from July 6

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
The IPL youngsters - Riyan Parag and Abhishek Sharma swap notes, Rajasthan Royals v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2019, Jaipur, April 27, 2019

Riyan Parag and Abhishek Sharma impressed in IPL 2024  •  BCCI

Shubman Gill has been named captain of India's T20I squad for the five-match series in Zimbabwe that begins on July 6. Abhishek Sharma, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Riyan Parag and Tushar Deshpande all received their maiden India call-ups after impressive performances in IPL 2024.
Dhruv Jurel has also been picked as the second wicketkeeper, his first call-up to the T20I squad after making his Test debut earlier this year against England.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson are the only two players from India's T20 World Cup squad who are also travelling to Zimbabwe; all of the other World Cup players have been given a break after the tournament ends on June 29.
Rinku Singh, Avesh Khan and Khaleel Ahmed, the other travelling reserves in India's T20 World Cup squad along with Gill, are also in the squad for Zimbabwe. The team is likely to leave for Zimbabwe on July 1 and will be coached by VVS Laxman in the interim, with Rahul Dravid's tenure ending with the T20 World Cup.
The squad does not include Tilak Varma, who has played 16 T20 internationals since his debut in August last year. ESPNcricinfo learned Tilak had injured two fingers on his left hand ahead of Mumbai Indians' final league game of IPL 2024 and is undergoing rehab at NCA in Bangalore. He was part of India's most recent bilateral series, against Afghanistan this January, and also had a successful IPL season for Mumbai - 416 runs at a strike rate of 149.64.
Abhishek's inclusion comes on the back of a successful IPL 2024 for Sunrisers Hyderabad: 484 runs at a strike rate of 204.21 and 42 sixes, the most in the season. He had also played a pivotal role in Punjab's run to their maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali title in November, with 485 runs at a strike rate of 192.46 as an opener.
"It feels great to get this opportunity," Abhishek said in a statement. "Finally my hard work has paid off. I will give my best and perform well for India."
Playing in his sixth IPL season, Parag had a breakout year for Rajasthan Royals, scoring almost as many runs in IPL 2024 as he had in five previous seasons. Offered a chance to bat at No. 4, Parag scored 40 or more in seven out of 14 innings; only Virat Kohli had 40-plus more scores (nine) this season. Parag's 573 runs in 16 innings made him third on the leaderboard for most runs, behind Kohli (741) and Gaikwad (583).
Reddy, a 21-year old seam-bowling allrounder, is believed to have impressed the selectors with his temperament in the Sunrisers top order. He made 303 runs in IPL 2024 at a strike rate of 142.92, while also delivering 13.1 overs for three wickets. Reddy, like Abhishek and Parag, was a part of the BCCI's target group of young players who have been under the NCA's watch over the past year.
Deshpande was the top wicket-taker for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2024, with 17 wickets and an economy rate of 8.83.
India play five T20Is against Zimbabwe in Harare on July 6, 7, 10, 13 and 14.

India's squad for T20I series in Zimbabwe

Ꮪhubman Gill (Captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Abhishek Sharma, Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Nitish Reddy, Riyan Parag, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Mukesh Kumar, Tushar Deshpande.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo