The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee led by MSK Prasad announced the 16-member squad for the first two matches of the Sri Lanka series earlier on Monday.
Murali Vijay makes a comeback to the squad after a long gap due to an injury while Abhinav Mukund misses out. Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav, who are regular in the test team got included in the squad after enjoying a reasonable period of rest.
Ashwin and Jadeja, the dependable spinning duo, who got axed from the ODI squad, were also included.
Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul were in red-hot form in the Sri Lanka tour earlier this year playing some good knocks and laying the base for the batsmen to follow.
Shikhar Dhawan got adjudged the man of the series award for scoring 358 runs in three matches courtesy two magnificent hundreds. Murali Vijay, who is returning from an ailing injury which he suffered during the Australia Test series, hasn’t had a good start to the domestic season, falling short in the two matches.
But, keeping his records in mind he was given the nod ahead of Abhinav Mukund who didn’t have a fair show with the bat in what limited opportunities he got.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who failed to impress in the last two Ranji matches had a good time with the bat in the previous Sri Lanka series scoring 309 runs in three games. He is the main man for India in Test cricket with his ability to bat for long hours.
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have proved time and again how crucial their role is in this current Indian team, as they provide the stability in the middle-order. Rohit Sharma, who is an obvious choice in the fifty-over format, is doubtful in the first eleven. But, with his class and techniques, he is one of the best on his day.
Wriddhiman Saha is currently the best wicket-keeper in the business. He has proved his worth in every given situation and has earned praises from all over the world. Considering his batting form, he is capable playing crucial partnership and has earned the confidence of his skipper in the previous tour to Sri Lanka.
The budding all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who made his test debut for the Sri Lanka tour earlier this year, has made an immediate mark with both bat and ball, hitting the ball hard down the order and picking up wickets at crucial junctures. The men in blue skipper who showered heaps on praise after the tour will look forward to him for providing the balance in the team.
The spinning duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who have 292 and 155 Test wickets, respectively behind their name, is an automatic choice when it comes to the Test team and they have delivered in crunch situations for quite a few years now.
Left-arm unorthodox bowler Kuldeep Yadav makes the cut, as the third spinner after his impressive show with the ball in the recently concluded series against Australia.
Ishant Sharma gets a chance once again to prove his worth; however, his selection in the team remains doubtful with regulars Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav in good form. Shami recently took his Ranji team, Bengal to victory against Chhattisgarh picking up six wickets in the second innings.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar who is partnering Jasprit Bumrah in the ODI team will also look to cement his place in the Test squad if given an opportunity.
India will take on the Islanders, Sri Lanka in a three-match Test series starting on 16th November at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. India will look to continue their winning streak on the home season before they start their overseas tour next year.