India limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma, who has missed defending champion Mumbai Indians’ last two games in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after sustaining an injury, has been omitted from the squads for India’s three-month-long tour to Australia, while K. L. Rahul makes a return to the Test team after being dropped following the 2019 series in the West Indies.
The senior national selection panel of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday named the squads for four Tests, three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) on the November 27-January 19 tour.
“The BCCI medical team will continue to monitor the progress of Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma,” the BCCI said in a media release. Pace spearhead Ishant returned home from the IPL after getting injured during the league stage of the tournament.
Hardik Pandya, who hasn’t played for India since September 22 last year, has been picked for the ODIs and T20Is. The all-rounder had been named in the squad for the home ODI series against South Africa in March that was called off because of growing concerns over Covid-19.
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The selection panel, led by former India spinner Sunil Joshi, also picked Varun Chakravarthy for the ODIs. The leg-spinner has had a strong showing in Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates and captured his first five-wicket haul of the tournament on Saturday. In fact, he is the only uncapped cricketer to have been selected across three squads.
Besides 28 cricketers who will feature in the three squads combined, the selection committee has named pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kartik Tyagi, Ishan Porel and T. Natarajan who will travel as back-up.
According to the provisional schedule that Cricket Australia shared with the BCCI last week, the tour will start with ODIs on November 27, while the last of the four Tests will begin in Brisbane from January 15. However, the BCCI is yet to formally accept it since both the boards have been in discussion over th Indian cricketers’ families accompanying them.
Despite the itinerary not formally being made public, the Test specialists, along with the coaching and support staff, have arrived in Dubai. Once they complete their quarantine, they can train together before the touring party departs for Sydney from Dubai after the IPL final on November 10.
It is also learnt that the Indian team management has requested a psychologist and motivational trainer in Australia to better handle the challenges of living in a bio-bubble. This tour will mark the first bilateral engagement for Virat Kohli’s side since March.
Test squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar, Ajinkya(vc), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Mohd. Siraj
ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vc & wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur
T20I squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Shikhar, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vc & wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy
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