The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced a 16-man squad for the upcoming 2-match Test series against New Zealand. The series will commence after the conclusion of the three T20Is.
The first Test will begin on November 25 at Green Park, Kanpur. The New Zealand tour of India will conclude after the 2nd and the final Test, which will be played at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai from December 3.
Ajinkya Rahane will lead India in the Kanpur Test as Virat Kohli has been rested. Ace batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has been named the vice-captain for the first Test. Rohit Sharma, who will lead the Men in Blue in the three T20Is, will skip the entire series. The board has also confirmed that Kohli will join the squad for the 2nd Test in Mumbai and will lead the team.
In another major development, wicketkeeper-batsman KS Bharat has been included, along with Wriddhiman Saha, in the squad and will replace Rishabh Pant.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are named as premier spinners, along with Axar Patel. Off-break bowler Jayant Yadav has returned to India’s Test set-up after a hiatus of more than four years. Back in 2017, he last played for India in whites against Australia in Pune.
The pace attack will miss the services of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami. The duo has also been rested as part of BCCI’s workload management policy. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma are the two senior pacers in the squad, along with Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna.
India’s squad for New Zealand Tests:
Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.