The MSK Prasad-led selection committee have stuck with the same 16-member Indian squad which they had picked for the one-off Test against Bangladesh, for the first two Tests against Steve Smith-led Australia.
Kuldeep Yadav, who had replaced Amit Mishra after the latter had suffered a knee injury in the final T20I against England, has retained his place in the Indian squad for the first two Tests vs Australia. Hardik Pandya and Abhinav Mukund have kept their places in the side as well, albeit this trio will struggle to make the playing XI in Pune or Bangalore.
Mohammed Shami and Rohit Sharma are the noticeable absentees from the squad for the Pune and Bangalore Tests.
Rohit has been training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore over the last week. However, the lack of match practice might well be the reason for the Mumbai stylist not being picked.
The months of December and January were tough for Shami, who drew a lot of criticism for posting pics on social media of him and his wife which were seen as immoral and the Bengal pacer’s father died of heart attack on the nation’s Republic Day. Shami had suffered a right knee injury during the third Test against England, and missed the final two Tests and the entirety of limited-overs series, too.
Shami did train a little with the Indian T20I squad for the series against England, albeit I surmise that he hasn’t recovered completely from the knee injury and, given his predisposition to injuries, the selectors and team management might have decided to not risk him and allow more time to regain complete fitness.
You can expect Rohit and Shami to be back for the final two Tests against the Aussies.
The rest who were part of the historic one-off Test against Bangladesh, pick themselves and India must be high on confidence ahead of the Pune Test.
List of Players in the Indian Squad for First Two Tests vs Australia
The table below is that of the batsmen, wicketkeeper, all-rounders, and bowlers in the Indian squad for the first couple of Test matches against Australia:
|Batsmen (7)||Wicketkeeper (1)||All-rounders (2)||Bowlers (6)|
|Virat Kohli*||Wriddhiman Saha||Ravichandran Ashwin||Bhuvneshwar Kumar|
|Murali Vijay||Jayant Yadav||Ishant Sharma|
|Lokesh Rahul||Umesh Yadav|
|Cheteshwar Pujara||Ravindra Jadeja|
|Ajinkya Rahane||Hardik Pandya|
|Karun Nair||Kuldeep Yadav|
The Australian squad for their 2017 Test tour of India was announced in mid-January.
And, here’s the visitors’ squad in full: Steve Smith*, David Warner, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Agar, Matthew Wade, Steve O’Keefe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, and Jackson Bird
Are you happy with the squad which has been named?