The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 15-man Indian squad for the two-Test series at home against the West Indies on Saturday, September 29.
Captain Virat Kohli is back to lead the side after being rested for the recently-concluded Asia Cup tournament in the United Arab Emirates. While it was reported that the India captain would miss the first of the two Tests, starting October 4 due to a recent wrist injury, the 29-year-old seems to be fit enough for national duty.
Meanwhile, the senior selection committee has dropped opener Shikhar Dhawan despite his Man of the Series-winning performance in the Asia Cup. The axing comes after the left-handed opener had a woeful tour of England where he managed just 162 runs at 20.25 from eight innings.
Opener Murali Vijay continues to be absent from the team despite his strong performances for Essex in the county championships. He was dropped after the first two Tests in England.
However, KL Rahul, who struck a century in the fifth and final Test against England at the Oval, retains his place in the side.
Rahul is likely to find his opening partner in teenager Prithvi Shaw, who has consistently amassing runs in the domestic season.
Karnataka's Mayank Agarwal finally gets his maiden Test call-up after knocking on the selectors' doors for quite some time now. He had scored 2253 runs in 36 innings in the 2017-18 season, across all formats.
Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah rested; Karthik dropped
India will have to cope up without their first-choice pace attack against the West Indies as Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been rested for the series. Ishant Sharma and all-rounder Hardik Pandya have not been considered for selection as they are yet to recover from their respective injuries, according to the BCCI.
Nonetheless, India have included in-form right-arm pacer Mohammad Siraj, who had made his international debut against New Zealand last year. Shardul Thakur also finds a place in the pace attack, which will be led by Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav.
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are likely to be the lead spinners. Kuldeep Yadav, who was considered only for one Test in England, makes his way back into the squad.
Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant pips Dinesh Karthik as the first-choice wicketkeeper after his valiant performances in the Old Blighty. The Tamil Nadu stumper doesn't find a place in the squad.
India full squad for West Indies series
Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur.
1st Test - October 4-8 in Rajkot
2nd Test - October 12-16 in Hyderabad