Mumbai: The Sandeep Patil-led selection committee announced a 15-member squad for the entire three-match Test series against New Zealand starting September 22.
There were no real surprises in the squad as the selectors decided to drop all-rounder Stuart Binny and pacer Shardul Thakur from the 17-member squad that toured West Indies for a four-Test series in July-August. Incidentally, neither Binny nor Thakur played a Test match in the Caribbean. The other 15 players, including, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, retained their places.
This was the last meeting for the present selection committee and chairman Patil revealed that Gautam Gambhir’s name was also discussed along with other seniors.
“Gambhir and other seniors were discussed. Many players have performed well in the Duleep Trophy. They all were discussed but the problem in cricket is that only 11 can play,” Patil said.
The meeting was chaired by BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke with Test skipper Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble in attendance. India will play New Zealand in the first Test in Kanpur from September 22-26 before the two teams lock horns again for the second Test at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens from September 30 – October 4. The third and final Test will be played at Indore from October 8-12. India, who have won three back-to-back series against Sri Lanka (2-1), South Africa (3-0) and West Indies (2-0) , are ranked second in the ICC’s Test rankings, behind Pakistan.
This is India’s busiest domestic season in nearly four decades; besides New Zealand, they will play England, Bangladesh and Australia in 10 more Test matches.
Indian Test squad vs New Zealand: Virat Kohli (Captain), Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav.