The Indian selectors sprang no surprises as they picked the squad for the first two Tests against Australia. The MSK Prasad-led selection committee made no changes to the 16-man squad that was selected for the Bangladesh Test in Hyderabad. (UPDATES)
Karun Nair was left out in place of Ajinkya Rahane for the Test against Bangladesh while Jayant Yadav returned after suffering an injury in the Chennai Test against England.
Kuldeep Yadav and Abhinav Mukund, who were included in the India squad for the Hyderabad Test, have been retained. Rohit Sharma and Amit Mishra were not considered for selection.
There were talks of whether the selectors would include Rohit in the team, but the Mumbai batsman is yet to play any domestic match since an upper thigh injury he sustained during the final ODI against New Zealand at Visakhapatnam.
Pacer Mohammad Shami too wasn’t picked as he still recuperates from an injury suffered during the England Test series. Mishra missed the Hyderabad Test due to a knee injury.
Team: Virat (Capt), Vijay, Rahul, Pujara, Rahane, Saha (wk), Ashwin, Jadeja, Ishant, Bhuvi, Umesh, Karun, Jayant, Kuldeep, Mukund & Pandya— BCCI (@BCCI) February 14, 2017
India will play four Tests against Australia starting on February 23 in Pune.
Virat Kohli’s Indian team has a settled composition and have dominated the home season. Kohli has not lost a single Test in 2016 and has not tasted defeat at home yet. India have not tasted defeat in a home Test for 20 matches while Kohli has not suffered a loss for 19 Tests since the loss in Galle to Sri Lanka in 2015.
Australia have not won a single Test in India since 2004 and they have lost their last seven consecutive Tests since 2008, including a 4-0 whitewash in 2013. In their last nine Tests in Asia, they have lost nine consecutive Tests, including a 2-0 loss to Pakistan and a 3-0 whitewash in Sri Lanka.
Squad for first two Tests:
Virat Kohli (Capt), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya