India name squad for home Test series against New Zealand


India have named their squad for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand.

As previously reported, Virat Kohli will be rested for the first Test with Ajinkya Rahane set to lead India in Kanpur. Kohli will return for the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium.

Newly-appointed India T20 captain Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, and pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have all been rested as part of the BCCI’s workload management policy.

“Virat Kohli will join the squad for the second Test and will lead the team,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

Shreyas Iyer makes a comeback to the red-ball squad along with off-spinner Jayant Yadav.

Opening question

KL Rahul is likely to open the batting with his Punjab Kings teammate Mayank Agarwal.

Cheteshwar Pujara has been nominated as vice-captain for the first Test.

Wriddiman Saha and KS Bharat will duel for the gloves in the absence of Pant.

Bharat offers more with the bat, but Saha has heaps of international experience and is familiar with most of the bowlers.

Uncapped seamer Prasidh Krishna receives his maiden Test squad call-up and is among four pacemen in a squad that also features Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Siraj.

There are also four specialist spinners in the squad with Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel joined by relative rookie Jayant. The batting ability of Jadeja and Ashwin should ensure they are automatic picks for the playing XI.

Shubman Gill needs an impressive series but might even find himself on the outs for the first Test as an in-form Iyer comes into the equation.

The first Test is scheduled to get underway on 25 November at Greenpark in Kanpur, the second Test will start in Mumbai on 3 December.

India Test squad for New Zealand series

Ajinkya Rahane (c), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vc), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddiman Saha (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.