The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the team for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand. The meeting in Mumbai was attended by the selectors, coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli. They took some important calls, including the decision to retain Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan in the Test squad for the series.
In fact, the BCCI did not make many changes to the team, which went for the tour of West Indies last month as the core remains the same. Shardul Thakur and Stuart Binny are the two players, who could not find a place in the 15-member Test squad for the NZ series, which was expected as India were playing at home and the pitches offer more assistance to the spinners.
However, they have picked four pacers, including Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav. But India too, to a large extent, will depend on the spinners — Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra — to deliver.
Coming to the batting line-up, the inclusion of Rohit and Shikhar in the series has been a subject of debate, but the selectors seem to have given them another chance. Both the players have been picked, but it remains to be seen if they will get a nod in the starting XI with other players like KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara scoring runs.
India have been a phenomenal side in the Test format in the recent past, defeating teams like Sri Lanka, South Africa and West Indies with decent ease. The team, which has been chosen by the BCCI for the NZ series, is a well-balanced unit, with a good mix of quality batsmen and bowlers, who can trouble the visitors, and help India win the series.
The two teams will play three Test matches, with the first one set scheduled to take place at Green Park in Kanpur on Sept.22. The second and the third Test match will start on Sept. 30 and Oct.8 in Kolkata and Indore, respectively.
India Test squad for New Zealand series: Virat Kohli (Capt), KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav