The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced the 18-man squad for the Test series in Australia which begins December with the opener in Adelaide. KL Rahul has earned a call back while BCCI will continue to monitor the progress of injured Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma.
Running out of patience with a struggling Rahul back in Sepetmber 2019, the selection committee had axed him ahead of India's hime series against South Africa. Rohit was named as then new opener. Almost a year later, with the latter missing out due to a hamstring injury he picked up during the ongoing Indian Premier League season in the UAE, Rahul has been recalled. Rohit had earlier missed the New Zealand Test series this year and India had Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill as their openers. The management has now added Rahul to the list.
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Kuldeep Yadav too has made his return to the format, who had picked up a fi-fer in Sydney in India's historic Test series win Down Under in 2018/19. He will be the third spinner in the bowling unit that also includes Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin. Meanwhile, Mohammed Siraj has been added as the fifth pacer to their already threatening lineup comprising Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini. Ishant will be missing the tour owing to a muscle tear he incurred during IPL 2020. He is presently recovering at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru while being closely monitored by the BCCI.
Besides these five, BCCI mentioned in their press release that four additional bowlers - Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kartik Tyagi, Ishan Porel and T Natarajan - will be traveling with the team to Australia.
Rishabh Pant, who has been dropped from the limited-overs squad, will be one of the two wicketkeepers for the Australia tour alongside Wriddhiman Saha. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain) and Hanuma Vihari as usual retain their spot.
Another notable absentee from the list includes all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
Team India Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Mohd. Siraj