Rohit Sharma and uncapped Hardik Pandya have returned to the Indian Test team for the upcoming Test series in Sri Lanka. Opening batsmen KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have also returned to the team. The duo has not played competitive cricket since India’s Test series against Australia in March because of injuries.
Rohit was part of India’s Test team during the 3-0 series win over New Zealand last year but missed the entire home season thereafter due to a thigh injury he sustained in the subsequent One-Day International series against the Black Caps. He returned to the national team during the Champions Trophy where he finished the tournament as its second highest run-getter before being rested for the limited-overs series in West Indies.
Pandya, on the other hand, had received his maiden Test call during the England series but was ruled out of the series after he sustained a shoulder injury. The Baroda allrounder was then recalled for the first two Tests against Australia but failed to get a game before being ignored for the remaining two Tests. However, his exploits in the Champions Trophy and the West Indies tour seems to have convinced the selectors to include him in the squad.
Karun Nair, meanwhile, has paid the price for not making his chances count during the Australia series. The Karnataka star seemed to have cemented his spot in the team after slamming a historic triple century against England but lost his place in the team in the very next Test against Bangladesh. However, he was given a chance to prove himself against Australia but the right-handed batsman squandered it.
The selectors have retained Abhinav Mukund as the backup opener, ignoring Shikhar Dhawan once again for the longest format of the game.The bowling attack does not have any surprise with Mohammed Shami returning to the team to bolster the attack.
The three-match series will start from July 26.
India’s squad for Sri Lanka Tests:
Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhimann Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.