The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) met in Mumbai on Tuesday to announce the squad for the upcoming Australia Test series that begins February 23 in Pune. The squad picked is only for the first two Tests.
There are no surprise names in the squad as it comprises of almost the same set of players who featured in the one-off Test against Bangladesh at Hyderabad. The likes of Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya and Jayant Yadav have been named in the 16-man squad, while the selectors have decided not to include Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
Led by skipper Virat Kohli, the batting department will see openers Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Abhinav Mukund, while Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Karun Nair form the middle-order. Despite a strong showing against England, wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel was not selected; hence Wriddhiman Saha remains the only wicket-keeper in the squad.
The pace-bowling department consists of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pandya. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will lead the spin-attack, and Jayant Yadav as the other spinner. Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who replaced injured Amit Mishra for the Test against Bangladesh, retains his place.
India will play the four Tests at in Pune, Ranchi, Bangalore and Dharamsala. Ahead of the Test series, the Australians will be featuring in a three-day warm-up game against India A, which will be led by Hardik Pandya, at the Cricket Club of India, starting from February 16.
India Squad for the first two Tests: Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair and Hardik Pandya.