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India have recalled batsman Rohit Sharma, opener Murali Vijay and wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel for the upcoming Test series in Australia.
Rohit last played Test cricket in January before being dropped due to his disappointing run of form with the bat.
Vijay was dropped during the five-Test series against England, but regained his spot in the Test squad after an excellent showing with Essex in the County Championship, where he scored 323 runs in three matches, which included a century and three fifties, at an average of 64.60.
“We felt that Rohit’s nature of play, a very good back-foot player, is suited for Australia,” chief selector MSK Prasad was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Murali Vijay was dropped from the England series. He went back and he played county [cricket] and showed his intent and performed and considering the intensity of the series, we’ve included him for the Australia series.”
Explaining the reason behind Patel’s return to the national team, Prasad said: “He was not picked for the game against Afghanistan and also the England series but subsequently he played the Duleep Trophy, he batted well and kept well.
“If you see the selection we’ve done for the whole team, it’s a mixture of youth and experience, which we really wanted because it’s going to be a high-intensity series. Which is why we’ve fallen back on experience. The advantage of Parthiv is that he’s a left-hander and can bat at any position. When the team demanded, even with a fractured hand he opened the innings in South Africa. So considering all these factors, we’ve picked him.”
Meanwhile, India have selected a full-strength pace squad, which comprises of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.
However, all-rounder Hardik Pandya was not included in the team as he has yet to sufficiently recover from a back injury he sustained during the Asia Cup.
“It’s very difficult to match Hardik’s all-round ability,” Prasad said. “At least we don’t see that kind of ability now in India. That’s why no other alternatives were discussed. And we expect Bhuvi to come good, we know he can bat.”
India also decided to retain batsman Hanuma Vihari, who made his debut in the fifth Test against England and scored 56 in the first innings. He also took four wickets in the match, three of which came in England’s second innings.
The four-Test series between Australia and India will begin on December 6 in Adelaide.
India’s Test squad: Virat Kohli (capt), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-capt), Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar