Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund has been recalled to the India squad as a back-up opener for the one-off Test against Bangladesh to be played in Hyderabad from February 9. (SELECTION MEETING HIGHLIGHTS)
The 27-year-old left-hander was included in the 16-member squad, which also includes regular openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul. The squad was announced by the national selection committee on Tuesday.
Mukund played all his five Tests in 2011, making his debut in the three-match series in the Caribbean when Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar were rested following the World Cup triumph at home.
However, the youngster failed to cash in, aggregating only 147 runs in six innings, with one half-century (62) as his best effort in a series which India won 1-0.
Mukund also figured in the first two Tests of the following series in England, but was dropped after scores of 49, 12, 0 and 13 in the first two matches at Lord’s and Nottingham.
Mukund though had a decent run in the just-ended Ranji Trophy, where he captained Tamil Nadu to the semifinals. The batsman aggregated 849 runs at an average of 65.30.
He struck four centuries, with a highest of 154, and finished as the ninth most prolific run-getter in the national championship this season.
Skipper Virat Kohli had spoken about the paucity of good openers in India during the limited-overs series. With Parthiv Patel, who was the stand-in opener in the home series against England, not included, the selectors have roped in Mukund as a third opener.
That could have been to an extent influenced by the injuries both Vijay and Rahul have had to contend with during the England series.
Although Mumbai teenager Prithvi Shaw showed spark on his Ranji debut as opener, the selectors seemed to have gone by the consistent domestic performances of Mukund.