Srikar Bharat has finally made is Test debut for India after earning his first cap on Thursday (February 9) against Australia. With Rishabh Pant injured due to an injury he suffered in a car accident in December, Bharat was the natural replacement for him. He will become the 304th player to represent India in the red-ball format, while he has donned the Indian Test colours in the past as a concussion substitute in the Kanpur Test in November 2021.
Bharat replaces Pant
The Test match in Nagpur is India’s first in 2023 and also the first time India have donned their white kits after Rishabh Pant’s tragic accident in December. The 29-year-old is a season player in the domestic circuit and has been with the Indian team ever since Wriddhiman Saha was dropped from the team.
Alongside Srikar Bharat, the Suryakumar Yadav was also handed his debut as Shubman Gill was not selected in the Playing XI. Sky is expected to play at No. 5 and was presented his cap by Ravi Shastri. Surya is the 305th player to play for India in the Test format. His inclusion in the team has paved way for KL Rahul to play in the opening slot.
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India also opted to bring in Axar Patel while Kuldeep Yadav had to warm the bench. India have gone with three spinners and two pace options as Ravindra Jadeja also made his return to the Indian team after his injury care that had ruled him out of the team in recent months.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Srikar Bharat(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj