The suspense over who will be India’s new Test captain has ended as the selectors named Rohit Sharma to lead an 18-man squad for the two Test-match series against Sri Lanka at home to be played next month.
The first Test will begin on 4 March at Mohali, while the second Test will be a day night affair that will begin from 12 March at Bengaluru. India will be the clear favourites to win the series as per trends on various betting sites, including OlyBet Sports, considering that Sri Lanka has been struggling to compete after losing iconic players like Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, and Ranganna Herath.
Rohit Sharma takes over from Virat Kohli, who had resigned as the skipper following the South African tour. Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been named as vice-captain which indicates that the selectors are considering him to be a future skipper.
The selection committee led by Chetan Sharma has dropped veteran batsmen Cheteswhar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane as well as fast bowler Ishant Sharma and wicket keeper Wriddhiman Saha.
The focus of the selectors seemed to be on building a team for the future. As part of this, uncapped players opener Priyank Panchal, wicket keeper KS Bharat, and left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar have been included in the squad.
Ravindra Jadeja comes back after an injury while the selectors have given another chance to Kuldeep Yadav, who had been out of the Test team for quite some time.
Off spinner R Ashwin’s place in the squad is subject to fitness. There is a backup option in all-rounder Jayant Yadav, who had recently made a comeback in international cricket.
Lokesh Rahul and Washington Sundar, who would have been certainties in the Test team miss out due to injuries, while bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur has been rested.
India Squad for SL Test series: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Priyank Panchal, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (Wicket Keeper), KS Bharat (Wicket Keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah (Vice-Captain), Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Saurabh Kumar, and R Ashwin (subject to fitness)