Team India have announced a star-studded squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand starting from February 21. Batting prodigy Prithvi Shaw has made a return to the Test squad in place of Rohit Sharma, who was ruled out of the tour after suffering an injury during the fifth T20I at the Bay Oval.
India will thus go into the two-Test series – from February 21 – with Shaw, Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill as their opening options. The 20-year-old Shaw made his Test debut against West Indies at home in 2018 and was even picked for the tour of Australia, where he picked up an ankle injury during practice. He was also slapped with backdated suspension last year for a doping violation. Shaw has been in spectacular form with the bat and will hope to settle his place in the playing XI.
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On the other hand, Shubman Gill is yet to make his debut but has been consistent in the domestic circuit. The young batsman from Punjab scored 83 and 204* against New Zealand A and will be raring to get his debut cap. On the bowling front, the selectors have also included Ishant Sharma, who suffered an ankle injury while playing in the Ranji Trophy against Vidarbha. The fast bowler, who has been nursing his injury at the National Cricket Academy has been included in the squad subject to his fitness clearance.
Navdeep Saini finds himself in the mix once again with Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav as the other fast bowling options. Ravindrachandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja retain their spot as the spinning options and there was no place for Kuldeep Yadav in the squad.
India's Test squad for the New Zealand series:
Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ishant Sharma (subject to fitness clearance).