India announce squad for last two Tests against Australia; Hardik Pandya left out
The series is locked 1-1 and the third Test match beings in Ranchi on March 16.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Wednesday announced the Indian squad for the third and fourth Test against Australia. The series is already locked at 1-1 after India pulled off an emphatic win at Bengaluru, beating the visitors by a margin of 75 runs. All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been left out from the squad.
Apart from the above inclusion, the selection committee has retained the same 15-member squad that played in the first two Tests. Rohit Sharma and Mohammad Shami, who returned from injury are not included in the squad.
The responsibility of opening the batting still rests with Murali Vijay who is set to comeback into the playing XI after missing the last outing due to an injury. On the other end will be KL Rahul who got a dazzling 90 and a 51 in Bengaluru. For his show with the bat, he also bagged the man-of-the-match award.
Chesteshwar Pujara who amassed a crucial 92 in the second innings at the Chinnaswamy will be No.3, followed by Virat Kohli who hasn’t had the best of series with the bat.
But then the Indian captain is a world-class player and it is only a matter of time before he scores a big one again.
Karun Nair and Ajinkya Rahane will be the other two known batting faces in the squad who might together get a game in again. The spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja too are the first choice spinners who have been in on a roll with the red leather.
Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav once again will be the two pacers for the hosts. Both have bowled superbly in the first two games and there’s no reason why they cannot carry on doing the same.
Squad for the last two matches: Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Abhinav Mukund.