Opening batsman Murali Vijay has returned to the Test team for the first two Tests of the upcoming three-match series against Sri Lanka, starting November 16 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has also made a return to the squad.
The Test opener has not played for India since undergoing a wrist surgery in the UK following the conclusion of the mammoth 13-Test home season in March.
The injury had forced him to miss the entire Indian Premier League also. He was expected to return to international cricket during the Tests against Sri Lanka earlier, but recurrence of pain forced him to pull out of the squad.
Left-handed batsman Abhinav Mukund has made way for Vijay. The southpaw had played the first Test in Sri Lanka but was dropped for the next two games due to poor form although he had scored 81 in the second innings of the match.
Barring the one change, the selectors have retained the same squad that whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0 in August.
It will be interesting to see who open the innings for Virat Kohli & Co. in the forthcoming series. Shikhar Dhawan, who returned to the team during the Sri Lanka series, grabbed the opportunity with both the hands and finished as the highest run-scorer, bagging the Man of the Series award. On the other hand, KL Rahul has also been in a fine form, having scored eight consecutive fifties in the longest format of the game.
However, given the way the team has backed their regular players who return to the team after injury, there is a possibility that Dhawan might make way for Vijay. It should be recalled that Parthiv Patel was dropped from the team even after an impressive performance when Wriddhiman Saha had recovered from an injury during the England series, last year.
Meanwhile, India will be keen to extend their impressive run in the Tests. The number one side in the world has won its last eight Test series and will enter the series against the Islanders as the firm favourites. However, they should not take Sri Lanka lightly who will be brimming with confidence after defeating Pakistan 2-0, lately.
Squad for the first two Tests:
Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav.