Mohammed Siraj included in Test squad for Australia

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File Photo: Mohammed Siraj

New Delhi: Hyderabad pace bowler Mohammed Siraj has been named in the Indian Test squad. However, the limited-over vice-captain Rohit Sharma was on Monday left out of all three squads for the tour of Australia due to a recurring hamstring injury which is set to oust him from the remainder of the Indian Premier League as well.

In Rohit’s absence, the in-form KL Rahul will be Virat Kohli’s deputy in the white ball teams and is also back in the Test squad after a considerable period of time. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant failed to make the cut for the limited overs even though he retained his place in the Test squad.

“The BCCI Medical Team will continue to monitor the progress of Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a press release announcing the squads.
The tour of Australia comprises three T20 Internationals, as many ODIs and four Tests. It is set to get underway from November 27. It is learnt that in case of Rohit, it might take a good six to eight weeks for complete recovery from the injury that he picked up during the IPL.

The story of Monday’s selection was undoubtedly Rahul, who is also now India’s first-choice keeper in both T20 Internationals and ODIs as selectors finally ran out of patience with Pant. Sanju Samson will be the second wicket-keeper in T20 International squad which also features Kolkata Knight Riders’ mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy.

The absence of the injured duo of Ishant Sharma (left rib cage) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (thigh muscle) also paved the way for his selection.

It is undoubtedly a big day for the 29-year-old Chennai-based architect Varun, who has played 21 representative matches at the senior level, including 11 T20 games — all at the IPL. His five-wicket haul against Delhi Capitals is one of the highlights of this IPL and he has bowled brilliantly at the death mixing his clever variations. With Kuldeep Yadav not being preferred by his own franchise for the better part, it is Varun, who has stolen the limelight.

The tour will also prove to be a good exposure for T Natarajan, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kartik Tyagi and Ishan Porel.

Families to accompany the team

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly strongly feels that Indian cricketers should be accompanied by their families for the upcoming tour of Australia as a lot of them have been alone in an IPL bio-bubble for nearly 80 days.

“They (players) have already been living in a bubble for the last 80 days,” Ganguly told ‘The Age’. Asked if the tour would be in doubt if families cannot accompany the players, Ganguly replied: “I don’t see a reason why the families won’t be allowed to come. The Australian cricket board is trying to accommodate the families. It should be okay.”

Ganguly added the Indian team will travel to Sydney immediately after the IPL ends on November 10. “Thhe initial part will be in Sydney. We are still in discussions how to get the bio-bubble part and medical parts stronger because it’s a long tour,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by the Australian newspaper. “But I am told Australia is COVID free at the moment, there aren’t many cases. Basically, we are trying to get everything in place and make sure it is safe. That’s all,” he said.

Team India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain and wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, and Varun Chakravarthy

ODI squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-captain & wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur

Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin and Mohd. Siraj


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