Fresh from the Men in Blue's seventh Asia Cup triumph, the Board of Control of India (BCCI) on Saturday announced its 15-member squad for the two-match Test series against West Indies. The series starting from October 4 is predicted to be one-sided affair given that the visitors have historically struggled in the subcontinent.
Virat Kohli, who was rested for the 2018 Asia Cup, will be back in business as he returns to take over the captaincy duties. However, in a surprise exclusion, the selectors have decided to drop in-from Shikhar and Dinesh Karthik, citing their dismal showing during the Test series of England.
Meanwhile, pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been rested, after a hectic Asia Cup tournament and taking into consideration the series against Australia next month and the upcoming 2019 World Cup. “Taking stock of the recent workload, the selectors have decided to rest Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar,” the BCCI statement read.
While, injuries to Hardik Pandya and Ishant Sharma meant that there were not considered for selection and are set to miss the test series against West Indies. Hardik Pandya was forced out of the Asia Cup after a back injury, while Ishant Sharma is still recovering from a finger injury he picked in England.
However, the test squad sees two new faces. After impressing in the domestic circuit with their brilliant showing, Mayank Agarwal and Mohammed Siraj have earned their maiden call-up to the Indian Test squad.
Apart from that, the likes of Prithvi Shaw and Hanuman Vihari are set to retain their places after the England tour. Shaw, who did not get a chance in England, is likely to be handed his debut cap in the first Test against West Indies.
Chinaman bowler, Kuldeep Yadav, who was dropped for the last Test against England, also sees his retain his place. While Virat Kohli will be leading the side, Ajinkya Rahane will be his deputy for the series.
The first Test will be played in Rajkot on October 4, followed by the second Test which will be played ar the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on October 12.
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur