BCCI announces India's 16-man squad for New Zealand Tests, Rohit Sharma rested

BCCI announces India’s 16-man squad for New Zealand Tests, Rohit Sharma rested

Two Tests are set to be played in Kanpur and Mumbai

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

BCCI has announced a 16-man squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand. As expected, Ajinkya Rahane is set to lead the side in the first Test with Cheteshwar Pujara being his deputy. The regular Test skipper Virat Kohli who is also missing the T20I series will return to play the second Test in Mumbai and take over the captaincy as well.

Rohit Sharma, the T20I skipper, has been rested for both Tests as the BCCI is looking to manage the workload and the bubble fatigue of the all-format players. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested for the Test series as well keeping in mind the upcoming South Africa tour. Wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant is also not the part of the Test side with Wriddhiman Saha and KS Bharat being selected for the job behind the stumps.

No rest for KL Rahul and Ravi Ashwin

Interestingly, T20I vice-captain KL Rahul and off-spinner Ravi Ashwin who are part of the T20I squad against New Zealand, have also been picked in the Test side. These are the only two players who won’t be getting any rest despite spending time in a bio-bubble since June this year.

Shreyas Iyer has been named in the Test squad and might most likely also make his debut at number four with Kohli not playing in the opening Test. There were reports of Shubman Gill also being tried in the middle-order and it remains to be seen if the managemen goes that way. Ravindra Jadeja returns to play Test matches while Axar Patel and Jayant Yadav are also part of the squad.

The pace attack, despite the absence of Bumrah and Shami is still looking threatening. Ishant Sharma will lead the attack with Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna being a part of it.

India’s Test 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, Virat Kohli (Will join for 2nd Test)