Hardik Pandya gets maiden call-up, Ishant makes comeback
All-rounder Hardik Pandya was the lone new face in the 15-member Test squad announced on Wednesday for the first two matches against England, starting November 9 in Rajkot. Senior pacer Ishant Sharma also made a comeback into the squad, after recovering from Chikungunya.
K.L. Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rohit Sharma were left out due to fitness-related issues.
Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir was retained in the squad after scoring a half century in the Indore Test against New Zealand.
Karun Nair is the reserve batsman and Jayant Yadav is the fourth spinner in the squad after Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra.
Pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav retained their places in the side. Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay, on the other hand, were automatic inclusions.
“If you look at Hardik Pandya, his pace has increased. His overall personality has mellowed down. He did extremely well in the ODI series and also during the A tour Down Under,” M.S.K. Prasad told mediapersons.
“We all have been trying to find an all-rounder after Kapil Dev. In case we play three spinners, he can be the second seamer and also can bat,”he reasoned.