The Board of Control of India (BCCI) on Friday announced its 18-member squad for the forthcoming series of Australia which is slated to get underway on December 6.
In what comes as a major surprise, Murali Vijay and Rohit Sharma have been recalled to India's Test squad, while Dhawan has been dropped given his struggles in the red-ball cricket format.
Earlier, Murali Vijay had been dropped from the squad following his dismal showing on the tour of England, which saw being dropped for the remaining two tests. But after impressing on his Essex County Club with consecutive 50-plus knocks saw him being recalled to the Indian Test squad for the series Down Under.
Whereas, experienced batsman Rohit Sharma has been called back into the squad after being overlooked for the recently concluded Test series against West Indies. He was also dropped for the series against Afghanistan and West Indies, following his poor showing on the tour of South Africa. But, as it seems, his ability to play on the backfoot might work in India's favor in the grueling Australian conditions, explained selector MK Prasad.
In-form youngster Prithvi Shaw also finds his place in the Test squad after dream debut against the West Indies. Another in-form young batsman Rishabh Pant also keeps his place in the squad, while Dinesh Karthik, who was part of the England tour has been dropped. Parthiv Patel who last played a Test for India way back in 2016, also earns a place in the squad and will play as backup wicketkeeper for Rishabh Pant.
KL Rahul, Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari along with skipper Virat Kohli are the other batsmen that form the top-order of the Indian batting lineup. Meanwhile, there were no major changes in the Indian bowling lineup. Ravichandran Ashwin is expected to lead the spin-bowling attack along with Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will headline the seam bowling attack, which is complimented by Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma. The only one bowler to miss out is Hardik Pandya who has failed to recover in time after the back injury he sustained during the 2018 Asia Cup.
Here's the entire Test squad:
Virat Kohli (C), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Shami, Ishant, Umesh, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Earlier, social media has been left aghast ever since it was revealed that former Indian skipper MS Dhoni was dropped from the squad for his team's upcoming T20I series against West Indies and Australia.
Ever since India made their debut in the format, Dhoni has been a regular. He had captained the side to victory in the inaugural World T20, and had been the skipper till 2017. The Indian cricket team has so far played 104 T20Is, and 'Mahi' has featured in 93 of them.