New Delhi: India opening batsmen Gautam Gambhir returned to the Test team after a gap of two years after playing his last Test back in 2014.
He will replace injured KL Rahul for the remaining part of the New Zealand series. The second Test between India and New Zealand begins on Friday at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Off-spinner Jayant Yadav has also been asked to join the squad in place of Ishant Sharma, who is suffering from chikungunya and will be out of the second Test. Jayant is yet to make his debut for India in Tests. Rahul suffered a hamstring injury during the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur while running between the wickets while was ruled out of the Test due to his disease.
Gambhir’s comeback in on the basis of his performance in the Duleep Trophy where he scored 356 runs at an average of 71.20. He had four back-to-back half-centuries in five innings with two scores of 90-plus. In his last innings in Duleep Trophy this year, he was dismissed for 36. He last played for India against England in 2014.
Shikhar Dhawan is already in the India Test squad for the New Zealand series as the third opener. Murali Vijay is the other opener for India. According to sources, Gambhir had earlier cleared a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy alongwith Yuvraj Singh. Jasprit Bumrah and Barinder Sran were the other two players who had appeared the test.
India have a long home season ahead with four series lined-up and BCCI is keeping a pool from which it can pick players for the Test and ODI series against visiting teams.
The Indian cricket team reached Kolkata on Tuesday but Rahul and coach Anil Kumble did not land at the airport. The latter is supposed to join the team on Wednesday.