As expected, Virat Kohli will lead team India for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka and the team announcement on Thursday did not include any major surprises. KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara have both made it to squad and Amit Mishra has been included as the third spinner in the side.
As far as the openers are concerned, the Indian selectors were not even required to break sweat as Shikhar Dhawan and Murli Vijay were automatic choices at the top after some great performances with the bat. But the selectors have decided to take on board KL Rahul as the third opener.
Both Dhawan and Vijay scored centuries in their last Test match against Bangladesh at Fatullah.
Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara are the specialist batsmen in the middle order for India, while Virat Kohli will bat at number three.
With MS Dhoni having quit Test cricket last year, the selectors might not have had much option as far as selecting a wicket keeper was concerned with Wriddhiman Saha taking that responsibility in the tour of Sri Lanka.
With the Test series in Sri Lanka, where the pitches might aid spinners, the Indian selectors went ahead with three spinners. Ravichandran Ashwin was an automatic choice alongside Harbhajan Singh, and Amit Mishra seems to have won the race for the third spinner in the team ahead of Pragyan Ojha, who could have made a comeback into the Test side.
Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron are the four pacers in the squad.
Most of the senior cricketers of the team were given much needed rest when India toured Zimbabwe, where Ajinkya Rahane lead team India. India had played some continuous cricket for a period of around seven months, which includes India tour of Australia, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand, followed by another hectic IPL.
Hence, one expects these cricketers to be fresh for the tour of Sri Lanka and start the tour with a bang, which includes three Test matches. The first Test starts on 12 August in Galle, while the second Test, from 20 August, will be played at Tamil Union Oval. The third and final Test will begin on 28 August at the SSC in Colombo.
Indian Squad for Sri Lanka: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Varun Aaron.