The national selection committee has formally appointed Rohit Sharma as India’s Test captain ahead of the forthcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.
“Rohit was the clear choice for us. We want to create leadership under him. As long as Rohit is fit and available, he will be the Test captain. We will give him rest whenever he or the team management or the medical staff gives us a directive,” Sharma said on Saturday.
He also made it clear that with K.L. Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant having served as vice-captains in the recent past, they will be groomed as future leaders under Rohit.
As far as the team is concerned, injured Rahul and Washington Sundar will miss out on the series, while Ravichandran Ashwin’s availability will be subject to fitness test. Shardul Thakur has been rested, while Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja have been recalled after proving their fitness.
The selectors also decided to name Uttar Pradesh’s left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar as a like-for-like replacement for Axar Patel, who is yet to recover.
“Saurabh Kumar has been doing well in domestic cricket and we picked him from there and he went to South Africa with India A and selectors are very happy with his performance,” Sharma said.
The 28-year-old had racked up 44 wickets from eight matches in the 2019/20 Ranji Trophy season and was part of India A's recent tour to South Africa. “He is a young guy, who is doing well and we had a lot of discussion and we thought that, it will be very nice. He was with the team as a net bowler and in South Africa, he was also one of the standbys. So, we have included him in the side, let's hope that he does well…”
The biggest talking point, however, was the omission of veterans Rahane, Pujara, Ishant and Saha.“We had told them that they will not be considered for these two Tests and the door will remain open for them in future,” Sharma said. “We want them to see them perform in Ranji Trophy and we had asked them to ply their trade in the tournament.”
While Pujara and Rahane are featuring in the Ranji Trophy, Ishant and Saha were unavailable for the first phase of the tournament.
Kohli, Pant rested for T20Is
Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant, who left the Indian team bio-bubble on Saturday, will be missing the third T20I against the West Indies on Sunday, and will also be rested for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, beginning next week.
T20 squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohd. Siraj, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Avesh Khan
Test squad: Rohit Sharma (c) , Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, KS Bharath, Ravichandran Ashwin (subject to fitness), Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Saurabh Kumar
India vs Sri Lanka 1st T20I: February 24 in Lucknow
India vs Sri Lanka 2nd T20I: February 26 in Dharamsala
India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20I: February 27 in Dharamsala
India vs Sri Lanka 1st Test: March 4-8 in Mohali
India vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test (D/N): March 12-16 in Bengaluru
- Live Score IND vs WI 2nd Test, Day 4: Chanderpaul, Brathwaite take West Indies forward in 365 chase vs India
- Hopman Cup: Croatia downs Switzerland to clinch title
- Jonas Vingegaard wins second successive Tour de France
- Wrestling trials for Asian Games: Upsets galore show past has little influence on the present
- Deodhar Trophy: Tournament favourite South Zone looks to open campaign on a high against North Zone