3 Surprising exclusions from India’s Test squad for New Zealand series
India have rested their key players for the home series but even then a few deserving players lost their place.
Updated - Nov 12, 2021 3:18 pm
India are all set to host New Zealand for a two-match Test series. The selection committee led by Chetan Sharma announced the 16-man squad for the series on Friday (November 12) morning. They decided to rest the likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Rishabh Pant while Virat Kohli will join the squad for the second Test.
However, a few Test specialists have been picked and the squad still looks potent to do well at home against the mighty Kiwis who have been a thorn in the flesh for India in the ICC events. After beating the Men in Blue in the 2019 WC semi-final, they defeated them in WTC Final and also in the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage.
As far as the squad is concerned, a few players would consider themselves unlucky to not see their names in the list. Here we bring you three such players who have been surprisingly excluded from the squad.
1. Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari has been one of the most underrated Indian players for quite a while now. He has quietly gone about his work. Moreover, he is more or less a Test specialist as well.
The middle order batter has played 12 Tests so far scoring 624 runs in 21 innings. His batting average and strike rate are 32.84 and 42.56 respectively. This includes 4 fifties and a hundred in the West Indies. He is also a sort of overses Test specialist having not played any home Test thus far.
Vihari was absolutely brilliant in his last Test match against Australia where he saved the game at the SCG along with Ravi Ashwin. Last but not the least, he can bowl part-time off-breaks as well. He will be disappointed to miss out, however, ESPNCricinfo reported that Vihari has been picked in India A squad South Africa tour where the team is set to play three four-day matches.