Lokesh Rahul has been included in India’s Test squad for the upcoming four-match series against Australia. Left-arm Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav has been named, while pacer Mohammad Siraj has earned a maiden call-up to the Test setup for Australia series.
Sunil Joshi led the senior selection committee which picked 28 players for Australia for all three formats. Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma are missing from the squad due to injuries.
The visitors have named four reserve bowlers in Kartik Tyagi, T Natarajan, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Ishan Porel for Border Gavaskar Trophy to be played down under. The reserve players will help the main squad during the practice session.
There have been huge question marks with regards to Rohit Sharma fitness. Earlier this year, Rohit Sharma will miss the two-match Test series against New Zealand due to a calf injury, leaving India’s top-order vulnerable in overseas conditions. Lokesh Rahul has made a comeback to the side after Rohit Sharma was ruled out of Australia series due to hamstring injury.
However, Lokesh Rahul also was dropped from the Test squad after having a horrible run with the bat against West Indies in the Caribbean last year. He could only score 101 runs in four innings against West Indies.
Earlier this year, Lokesh Rahul was not included in India A squad for the tour of New Zealand. Shubham Gill, who made quite a mark with the bat for India A side and smashed a couple of hundreds, has retained his place in the Test setup.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Siraj earned his maiden call-up to the Test side after performing consistently well for Hyderabad in the first-class cricket. He took eight wickets against Australia A in 2018 and also claimed two five wicket hauls against South Africa in South Africa. He also bowled well for India A against West Indies and claimed two four-fers.
The pace department looks strong for India as Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini and Mohammad Siraj have been picked for Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav has been selected for the four-match Test series against Australia. Since 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Yadav also failed to make an impact with the ball for India in all three formats.
The 25-year-old has claimed 24 wickets from six Tests which includes a five-wicket haul against Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground in 2019.
While the schedule for Border Gavaskar series has not been finalized, it is expected that the opening game of the series will be a day-night affair at Adelaide Cricket Ground. The other three games will be played at Melbourne (Boxing Day), Sydney (New Year) and Brisbane.
Test Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Lokesh Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Kuldeep Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Shubham Gill, Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Siraj.
Virat Kohli-led unit will kick-start their tour from 26th November as they lock horns with Australia in a three-match T20I series. After the culmination of the T20Is, the two teams will play three-match one-day series in the first week of December.
Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who sustained a leg injury during the Indian Premier League has been ruled out of Australian tour. The swing bowler has been plagued with injuries since the start of 2018 and was not considered for the series in Australia.
Mohammad Shami has been included in India’s limited-overs squad for upcoming tour of Australia. With him slotted into the squad, Shardul Thakur has been retained in the ODI squad as a reserve seamer. Wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant and opener Prithvi Shaw have been dropped from the ODI squad following their poor form in the ongoing Indian Premier League. If Rohit Sharma does not get fit in time for the series, Lokesh Rahul will act as deputy to Virat Kohli in the T20I and ODI series.
ODI Squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal Shubman Gill, Lokesh Rahul (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur