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Ind vs NZ 2021-22 – Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami to sit out New Zealand Test series

Ind vs NZ 2021-22 – Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami to sit out New Zealand Test series, the vie

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Virat Kohli will miss the first Test, meanwhile, and return to lead the side in the second

India will be without Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami when they take the field for the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur from November 25 to 29. All five have presumably been rested, though the BCCI release that announced the squad on Friday gave no reasons for their exclusion.
Kohli, however, will return for the second Test in Mumbai, which will be played from December 3 to 7, and lead the side. Ajinkya Rahane will captain India in Kanpur, with Cheteshwar Pujara named his deputy.
Also out of the squad is the fast bowler Shardul Thakur, who has been left out of the squad for the T20I series preceding the Tests as well.
It is expected that KL Rahul will open the batting with Mayank Agarwal in Rohit’s absence, while Kohli’s middle-order slot in the first Test could be contested between Shubman Gill and the uncapped Shreyas Iyer, who has been part of the red-ball squad in the past but is yet to make his Test debut. Hanuma Vihari, who was understood to be next in line for a middle-order berth, has been left out of the squad. Vihari’s last involvement in a Test match was to help save the Sydney Test in January while batting through injury.
With Pant absent, the experienced Wriddhiman Saha is in line to play his first Test since India’s defeat in Adelaide in December 2020.
The Andhra wicketkeeper-batter KS Bharat, however, is also part of the squad. Bharat has a solid first-class record behind him: 4283 runs from 78 matches at the average of 37.24, with nine hundreds including a top score of 308 against Goa in February 2015. It was the first triple-ton by a wicketkeeper-batter in the Ranji Trophy. More recently, he enjoyed a breakthrough season in the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore, batting mostly at No. 3 and scoring 191 runs at a strike rate of 122.43, including a match-winning 78 not-out against Delhi Capitals capped off with a last-ball six.

India squad for New Zealand Test series: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna; Virat Kohli to join squad for second Test and lead the side

GMT 1215 This piece was updated after the BCCI confirmed Vihari’s selection for the India A tour of South Africa.

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