New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced India's Test squad for the upcoming two-match series against New Zealand, stating that Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team in the first Test in absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli. The board further said that Rohit Sharma will not be a part of the entire series.
Meanwhile, Kohli, who recently stepped down as the T20I captain, will join the team in the second Test and will lead the team.
The first of the two Tests is scheduled to start on November 25 in Kanpur, while the second match will begin on December 3 and will be played in Mumbai.
Rohit, who has been named as India's captain in T20Is, has been given the rest following the three-match T20I series.
The squad was finalised after a meeting of the All-India Senior Selection Committee on Thursday.
Apart from Kohli and Rohit, other big stars to miss out on the series are wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
In Pant's absence, Wriddhiman Saha will take over the wicket-keeping duties with KS Bharath acting as the second keeper for the series.
The 28-year-old Bharath, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, has only played in the IPL, signed up by Royal Challengers Bangalore, this year.
He was among the five standby players for the home Test series against England this year.
Middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer also made a comeback in the Test squad along with off-spinner Jayant Yadav.
The rest of the squad comprises the usual suspects with Test regulars like Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal expectedly finding their way in.
Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna will form the pace attack of the team.
India's Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
Posted By: Subhasish Dutta