Jul 10, 2017

Pandya earns Test call-up, Rahul back

Allrounder Hardik Pandya has been selected for the three-Test series in Sri Lanka, which begins on July 26 in Galle. KL Rahul, who hasn't played any competitive cricket since India's Test series against Australia in March because of injury, was back in the squad. M Vijay, too, regained fitness, after wrist and shoulder injuries, and was named in the squad.

Rohit Sharma made his Test comeback, too, after being rested for the limited-overs tour of the West Indies. He last played Tests for India during the New Zealand series in October last year, before injuring himself while playing an ODI. His replacement Karun Nair, who scored a triple century against England but scored 54 in four innings after that, was left out.

Abhinav Mukund, who got one Test in the home season, edged out Shikhar Dhawan as back-up opener, despite the latter's success in limited-overs formats after his return in the Champions Trophy. Mukund, however, is also a part of the India A squad for the four-day matches on the tour of South Africa in July -
August and his availability for the A tour could be in doubt. The Test series in Sri Lanka is scheduled to end on August 16, while the four-day games in South Africa begin from August 12. Nair will lead the India A side in the four-day matches against South Africa A.

Pandya's maiden call-up to the Test side came in November last year for the home series against England. However, he hurt his right shoulder while training later that month and was withdrawn from the squad. Pandya found himself in the Test squad again for the first two matches against Australia later this year.

The bowling chose itself with the two best bowlers in the world - R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - being bolstered by the presence of Kuldeep Yadav. The four specialist quicks were Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.

India also announced a two-day warm-up match to be played in Colombo on July 21 and 22.

India squad: Virat Kohli (capt.), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.

(espncricinfo.com)

 

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