At the onset of the upcoming England India Test matches, the selectors did change the makeup of the India team as expected. As the top batsmen of the team, that performed at the recently concluded tournament with New Zealand had to be rested due to injury, the selectors came up with the best alternative combination. Players who has been rested in the previous tournaments are brought back to the squad. Among those who returned are Hardik Pandya and Ishant Sharma.
The major dropouts from the team are Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, both openers as well as Lokesh Rahul. The players are injured and are not supposed to be fit to play in the tournament. The players are the major missing batsmen from the team, and apparently, the selectors replaced them with more emphasize on bowlers. The inclusion of Hardik Pandya is as a dependable all-rounder of the team. The players have emerged out as a batsman lower down the line batting at 7 or 8. His stance in several previous matches brought victories for Team India.
Another inclusion in the team is of Gautam Gambhir. The batsman was not selected for the tournament with New Zealand giving a way out to Lokesh Rahul. However, as Rahul was injured and is rested for the upcoming tournament, Gambhir is included in the squad. Along with the player, Cheteshwar Pujara is expected to deliver a strong batting lineup for the team. Murali Vijay, batting at the top order is a new bet for the team. An opener on the making, Vijay should offer good partnership innings. Ajinkya Rahane is supposed to bat down the middle order.
Another player who could not make out to the squad was Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The player was rested for a hamstring injury in the second Test match with New Zealand. However, as reported, he has already recovered from the injury. The bowler is not selected for the tournament as he has not played a first-class match. Batsman Rohit Sharma was injured at his upper thigh in the ODI with New Zealand. The player might need a surgery and is on rest for six to eight weeks, reportedly. Dhawan suffered a thumb injury in the ODI. Another replacement player, Shardul Thakur is also dropped from the current Test Squad.
This is the first time when Hardik Pandya will play an international test. The tournament will start on November 9 in Rajkot. The selected squad is Virat Kohli as Captain, M Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, R Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha as wicket keeper, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav and Hardik Pandya.
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