Mumbai, Sep 12: Indian Test squad for the 3-match home series against New Zealand has been announced on Monday (September 12) by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Team India's Test skipper Virat Kohli will be leading the side against Kane Williamson and his men in the Test series starting September 22.
The All-India Senior Selection Committee, headed by Sandeep Patil, met at a five-star hotel in Mumbai today at 11 AM to select the team. India's Test skipper Virat Kohli and Head Coach Anil Kumble were also present in the meeting.
After the selection meeting, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke and selection committee's chairman Patil addressed the media to announce the 15-member Test squad.
The team is almost the same that went on West Indies tour. All-rounder Stuart Binny and pacer Shardul Thakur, who were a part of the squad in the Caribbean, were dropped.
"We have stuck to the combination which has done very well. We were of the opinion that this was the best possible combination for New Zealand," chief selector Sandeep Patil told reporters after chairing the final meeting of the current selection committee.
"We've selected the squad of 15 players but final choice will be made by Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble," Patil added further.
Rohit's form was expected to be a major talking point today given that in the series against West Indies, he mustered only 9 and 41 from two innings in the third Test at Gros Islet, the only time he got a chance to play in the series.
Rohit also did not do well in the first innings of the ongoing Duleep Trophy final in Greater Noida after being specifically included in one of the teams -- India Blue -- following his return from the West Indies and the USA.
"Everyone, from selectors, coaches and the captain, felt that Rohit is a fabulous player and he needed a longer run," Patil said justifying the selection.
The squad to be led by Virat Kohli has six specialist batsmen with Wriddhiman Saha as the wicketkeeper.
The opening slot would be taken by Dhawan and Murali Vijay, while the middle order features Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, and Cheteshwar Pujara along with Rohit. Ravindra Jadeja is the lone all-rounder in the squad.
Team's pace attack will be led by most experienced Ishant Sharma who will get the support from Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav. While spin department will be spearheaded by Ravichandran Ashwin. Presence of Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra will the spin department more lethal.
India will host New Zealand for 3 Tests and 5 One Day Internationals. The 1st Test starts in Kanpur on September 22 (Thursday). ('Pujara very important for us')
Here is the squad:
Virat Kohli (Captain)
Ajinkya Rahane (Vice Captain)
Wriddhiman Saha (Wicket-keeper)