Murali Vijay, Kuldeep Yadav dropped for last 2 England Tests, Hanuma Vihari and Prithvi Shaw get call-ups
In what could be a telling blow for a career in its home stretch, opener Murali Vijay was dropped from the Indian team for the last two Tests against England on Wednesday. Having failed to perform in the first two games, Vijay was initially dropped from the playing XI in the just concluded third Test at Trent Bridge, before the selectors decided to replace him with young Prithvi Shaw for the last two games. Hanuma Vihari was the surprise inclusion in the team as the selectors also dropped spinner Kuldeep Yadav while finalising the squad at the Park Plaza in Nottingham. .
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Vihari said that he was preparing for the upcoming quadrangular series starting on Thursday, but the call came as a pleasant surprise.
“To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting a call. I was preparing for the quadrangular series when I got a call this evening. I am leaving tomorrow and will be in England on August 24,” he said.
Asked if he had any special plans as he will get to spend time with the likes of Virat Kohli and some other senior players, Vihari said: “It is a really exciting moment for me. I am looking forward to going and spending time with some of the best players in word cricket. It will be an opportunity of a lifetime as you don’t get to be around such players every day. I want to learn as much as I can staying around them and also wish to learn how to prepare for an international game.”
A source in the know of developments suggested that Hanuma Vihari being an off-spinner could give skipper Virat Kohli an added option if Ravichandran Ashwin does not recover from the hip injury sustained during the Trent Bridge Test.
Vihari has got the nod on the back of some quality knocks in recent times. While he hit 54 against South Africa A in Bengaluru, he followed that up with a knock of 148 against the same opposition in Alur in the second unofficial Test between India ‘A’ and South Africa ‘A’.
Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hanuma Vihari.
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