BCCI Announced Squad for Test Series Against New Zealand: Rahane to Captain India

Image Credit: Reuters

The BCCI released the India test team on November 12, 2021, for the upcoming India vs New Zealand test series, which would begin on November 25, 2021. Ajinkya Rahane has been selected to captain India in the first test against New Zealand, which will be held in Kanpur.

Virat Kohli, who stepped down as T20 captain after India was ousted in the group stages of the T20 World Cup, will skipper the squad in the second Test. A three-match T20 series will precede the Test series, which will begin on November 17 in Jaipur. Kohli has decided to skip the T20 series and will take a break.

The selectors have also decided to rest Rohit Sharma, who was named captain for the T20 series against New Zealand. Rohit was previously considered for the Test captaincy, but the selectors decided to rest him as well due to the upcoming South African tour in December.

Rishabh Pant and Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, the fast bowling pair, have been left out of the squad for the two-Test series against New Zealand.

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) did not mention any reason for their absence when announcing the squad for the two Tests, it is widely assumed that they were rested due to the gruelling schedule over the previous six months.

KS Bharat, a Karnataka player who played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2021, has been added to the squad as a backup wicket-keeper. For the series against New Zealand, Shreyas Iyer and Prasidh Krishna have received their first Test call-ups.

The first Test match is scheduled to begin on November 25 at Kanpur. The second game will take place in Mumbai between the 3rd and 7th of December. For the second Test in Mumbai, Kohli will be eligible to command the team. The last time India and New Zealand played in a Test match was in June, when the Kiwis won by 8 wickets in the ICC World Test Championship final.

KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Shubman Gill, the team’s three openers, have all batted in the middle order in Tests and first-class matches at some point in their careers. It’s possible that Agarwal, rather than Iyer, will fill that middle-order spot.

During the two matches at Green Park and Wankhede, Wriddhiman Saha, the oldest Indian Test player in this current set-up at 37, will have another chance to play in the conventional format.

Jayant Yadav, an off-spinner and a reliable middle-order batsman, is also back in the series after a strong showing against England in 2016-17. He acts as Ashwin’s backup. Ishant Sharma will spearhead the pace attack, with Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj providing backup.

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.

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