New Delhi, Sep 12: The Board of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) on Thursday announced the 15-member Test squad dropping opener KL Rahul and bringing in youngster Shubman Gill for three-match home series against South Africa starting on October 2 at Visakhapatnam.
Gill who earned his maiden Test call has 1443 runs with average of 72.15 in first class games with four hundreds. He also scored 90, 5 during the first unofficial Test against South Africa A. The Punjab batsman made his ODI debut against New Zealand in January this year.
Meanwhile, chief selector MSK Prasad said, that he wants Rohit Sharma to open the innings in Tests.
While KL Rahul has been dropped from the series apart from his second ton against England in The Oval Test last year, the opener has failed to impress the selectors with scores of 44 and 38 against West Indies in the first Test but failed to register a big score in the second.
Jasprit Bumrah also looks set to play his first home Test while Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami are the other pacers. R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav will be the frontline spinners while Rishabh Pant will continue as the first-choice 'keeper. Wriddhiman Saha too is part of the squad.
The Committee also picked the Board President’s XI team for a three-day warm-up game to be played in Vizianagaram from September 26th. Rohit Sharma will lead the side and most likely open the innings.
India are scheduled to play a three match Test series against South Africa which begins on October 2. The first match of the series will be held in Vizag, followed by the second in Pune and third in Ranchi.
India’s squad for 3 Tests: Virat Kohli (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk),Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill (UNI)