Rohit Sharma returns to India squad for Sri Lanka Test series, KL Rahul in | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Rohit Sharma returns to India squad for Sri Lanka Test series, KL Rahul in

Rohit Sharma last played a Test for India against New Zealand in October, 2016. After that he was sidelined due to thigh injury. He is part of the 16-member Indian cricket squad for the three-Test series against Sri Lanka starting on July 26.

cricket Updated: Jul 09, 2017 22:14 IST
HT Correspondent
Rohit Sharma has been named in the 16-member Indian cricket squad for the three-Test series against Sri Lanka, starting on July 26.
Rohit Sharma has been named in the 16-member Indian cricket squad for the three-Test series against Sri Lanka, starting on July 26.(Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Rohit Sharma has been named in the 16-member Indian cricket squad for the three-Test series against Sri Lanka starting on July 26. He has replaced middle-order batsman Karun Nair, who is India’s only second triple centurion after Virender Sehwag.

The 30-year-old Rohit Sharma last played a Test for India against New Zealand in October, 2016. After that he was sidelined due to thigh injury which laid him off for the entire home season for Indian cricket team. The Mumbai batsman directly returned to action in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to lead the Mumbai Indians to their third title.

The Sri Lanka Test series will also see India playing under a new coach, the announcement of which is expected to be made on Monday. Ravi Shastri, according to sources, is the front-runner to succeed Anil Kumble. The India great resigned last month following an ‘untenable’ relationship with captain Virat Kohli.

READ | Anil Kumble steps down as Indian cricket team’s head coach

Rohit’s recent show

Rohit Sharma performed well for India in the recently-held ICC Champions Trophy, in which where he was the second highest scorer for the Virat Kohli-led team. He scored 304 runs in five matches, including a century. He was rested for the limited overs away series against West Indies.

Karun Nair, in whose place Rohit Sharma has come in, couldn’t hold on to his place after aggregating just 54 runs in his last three Tests against Australia. His poor form continued for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL-10. The Karnataka lad scored 303* against England in December, 2016. He is currently part of India A squad in a series against South Africa A.

KL Rahul too returned to the Indian team after injury forced him to miss the IPL and ICC Champions Trophy. Rahul was in fine form, scoring half-century in his last five Test innings before injury struck. His scores from the last Test series against Australia read: 10, 64, 51, 90, 67, 60 and 51 not out.

Hardik Pandya, who has impressed in his fast bowling all rounder’s role, is also part of the squad though he was not there in the last Test series played by India against Australia.

A three-member selection panel joined via a teleconference on Sunday to decide the squad.

Tour schedule

India will play a two-day warm-up tie (July 21-22) before three Tests, five ODIs and one T20I against Sri Lanka. The first Test will be played at Galle from July 26 to 30. The second Test will be at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo before proceeding for the third Test in Kandy.

Team India had won a three-Test series 2-1 on its last tour to Sri Lanka in 2015. The series witnessed rare instances of tempers flying between the Indian and Sri Lankan players as the relationship between these two teams has always been cordial.

Virat Kohli & Co were blasted for their over-the-top aggressive behaviour. The then Team India Director Ravi Shastri too received some flak.

Full Indian squad:  Virat Kohli (Captain), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice captain), Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja,Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund