India rest key quick bowlers for Windies series
India named a 15-strong squad for the visit of the West Indies, choosing to omit several first-choice seamers through rotation and an injury.
Frontline pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have both been rested after taking part in the Asia Cup. .
Kumar had completely missed the Test series against England through injury, while Bumrah was one of the few players to play both against England and in the Asia Cup though he did not play in the first two Tests.
Seam-bowling allrounder Hardik Pandya was stretchered off the in the first of two games between India and Pakistan in the UAE.
Ishant Sharma is reported to have failed a fitness test ahead of the squad selection. A BCCI official confirmed that Pandya “has an acute lower back injury”.
Teenager Prithvi Shaw could be in line to make his Test debut. Opener Shikhar Dhawan has been excluded from the group after he struggled for runs in England.
Shaw captained his country to Under 19 Cricket World Cup glory earlier this year. Though he has played just 14 first-class games he averages 56.72 in his career so far, with an impressive seven centuries.
A hip problem left Ravichandran Ashwin in doubt for selection, but he apparently passed a fitness test.
Lokesh Rahul’s hundred at the Oval rescued a mediocre series for the batsman. He is likely to retain his spot at the top of the order. Shaw will duel in the in-form Mayank Agarwal for a place in the first Test XI.
Agarwal is more experienced than Shaw, having played 29 more first-class games, and has excelled for India A in recent times, with the highlight a double ton against South Africa A.
India are likely to play all three front-line spinners; Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav. Seamers Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur are in the squad as cover for Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav who are likely to be the only quicks in the XI.
The series begins on 4 October in Rajkot.
Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari. Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur
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