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India call up Shankar, Gill to replace suspended pair

January 13, 2019

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Rahul and Pandya were axed ahead of India's opening one-day international against Australia in Sydney. — File
Rahul and Pandya were axed ahead of India's opening one-day international against Australia in Sydney. — File

India on Sunday called up all-rounder Vijay Shankar and batsman Shubman Gill for their Australia and New Zealand tours after Lokesh Rahul and Hardik Pandya were ordered home in disgrace over comments made about women.

Rahul and Pandya were axed ahead of India's opening one-day international against Australia in Sydney on Saturday, which the tourists lost, pending an investigation into the comments made on a TV celebrity show.

“Vijay Shankar will join the team before the start of the 2nd ODI in Adelaide,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said, referring to Tuesday's match.

“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 and Twenty20 series in New Zealand.”

Pandya had bragged about his success with women and made other sexual remarks during an Indian celebrity chat show broadcast last week just as India were celebrating their historic first Test series win in Australia.

Rahul was also on the programme and watched his teammate's antics, which sparked outrage on social media and condemnation from skipper Virat Kohli who made clear the comments did not reflect the culture within the squad.

Both players, who have apologised, have been suspended “from playing any form of cricket” pending an enquiry for misconduct and indiscipline.

With Pandya and Rahul missing, India crashed to a 34-run defeat in Sydney on Saturday despite a explosive century from Rohit Sharma.

The next game in the three-match series is a day-night contest in Adelaide on Tuesday.