India announced the 15-member squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against New Zealand. KL Rahul retained his place after an impressive showing against the West Indies. Rohit Sharma has made into the squad after much speculation surrounding the Mumbai batsman’s fate in the lead up to the selectors’ meet.
Although Sharma’s exploits in limited overs cricket is well documented, Test cricket has always seemed to be an Achilles heel for the batsman. In the recent series against West Indies he got a chance to play in two out of four games, one of which was washed out, and he mustered 9 and 41 in the two innings in the third Test at Gros Islet. Sharma’s Test career has been limping ever since he made an explosive start in 2013 scoring back to back centuries. But he has captain Virat Kohli’s confidence.
With quite a few talented youngsters like Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and Karun Nair waiting in the wings, the selectors were expected to take a call on Sharma’s participation and have now decided to give him another chance.
Although Cheteshwar Pujara was dropped from the playing eleven for the final Test of the West Indies series, he has since answered any doubts that may have been in the selector’s mind with his 256-run-stand for India Blue in the Duleep Trophy final.
The full 15-member squad is as follows:
India Test squad: Virat Kohli(Capt), KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav