India Announce Test Squad For Australia Series
India have recalled Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay and Parthiv Patel for their upcoming four Test series against Australia, starting in December.
The selectors have given preference to experience as India look to improve their overseas record, having already lost series in South Africa and England this year. Batting sensation Prithvi Shaw, who scored a century on his Test debut, is one of the three openers along with Vijay and KL Rahul.
India will have a full strength pace attack as the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav are all part of the squad.
Hardik Pandya, however, is not a part of the team. The allrounder is yet to recover from the back injury he sustained in the Asia Cup.
“It’s very difficult to match Hardik’s all-round ability,” chief selector MSK Prasad said. “At least we don’t see that kind of ability now in India. That’s why no other alternatives were discussed. And we expect Bhuvi to come good, we know he can bat.
Prasad further said that Rohit’s back-foot game convinced the selectors to pick him in the Test team for the first time since the tour of South Africa.
“We felt that Rohit’s nature of play, a very good back-foot player, is suited for Australia. Murali Vijay was dropped from the England series. He went back and he played the county and showed his intent and performed and considering the intensity of the series, we’ve included him for the Australia series,” he said.
Hanuma Vihari, who made his debut in England, has held on to his spot. However, Mayank Agarwal, who did not get a game in his debut series against Windies, has been dropped. Karun Nair, who accused the selectors of lack of communication, continues to stay out of the team.
In spin department, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav will take the responsibility.
The Test squad will fly out for Australia on November 16, to play a warm-up game starting the 28th before the four-Test series begins on December 6 in Adelaide.
Virat Kohli (capt), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-capt), Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar