The BCCI on Thursday announced the Test squad for the three-match series against South Africa.
Rohit Sharma, who was not included in the playing XI in both the Test matches against West Indies, remains with the side. MSK Prasad confirmed after the selection meeting that Rohit Sharma will be given an opportunity at the opening order.
India’s squad for 3 Tests: Virat Kohli (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk),Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill— BCCI (@BCCI) September 12, 2019
The Mumbai batsman has never opened in Test matches, but has been one of the most consistent openers for the side in the limited-overs format.
"We want to give Rohit Sharma an opportunity to open the innings in Tests," Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said after the meeting to pick the squad here.
Pacer Umesh Yadav, who was in the squad for the recent West Indies tour, was, however, dropped.
Rohit will captain the Board President's XI, which will take on the South Africans in a three-day tour match in Vizianagaram from September 26.
The 20-year-old Gill's inclusion was on expected lines after he top-scored for India A in the tour of West Indies and was adjudged man of the series. He became the youngest Indian to score a first-class double hundred during the series.
His exclusion from the senior team for the Caribbean assignment last month was widely criticised.
India's first Test against South Africa will start in Visakhapatnam on October 2, while the second and third games will be held in Pune (October 10-14) and Ranchi (October 19-23) respectively.
Shubman Gill, who captained India A to victory against South Africa A in the first four-day unofficial Test in Thiruvananthapuram earlier today, has been rewarded with a maiden Test call-up after his consistent performances in the domestic circuit.
India's squad for the three-Test series against South Africa:
Virat Kohli (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill
Board President’s XI:
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, AR Easwaran, Karun Nair, Siddhesh Lad, KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Jalaj Saxena, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Ishan Porel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav.