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India vs New Zealand 2021: Indian Team Official Test Series Squad

Virat Kohli set to miss the first Test as we look at the official squad for the 2021 India vs New Zealand Test Series. 

Having announced the T20I series squad a few days ago, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the official squad for the 2-match Test Series vs New Zealand. The first Test begins on November 25th in Kanpur, and the second Test begins on December 3rd in Mumbai. 

The Test matches are currently a part of the World Test Championship, and a win or loss has a significant impact on the qualification for the finals. Surprisingly, even after knowing this, selectors decided to give more priority to T20Is instead of Test matches as some of the key players are missing from the squad. 

The likes of Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant are first-choice players for Team India in Tests. They made a significant contribution to Team India’s superb performance against England in Tests. Seeing them missing the Test Series, and playing the T20I series is shocking. This clearly means the selectors consider T20Is more important than Test matches. 

Key Changes

Overall, the selectors selected a 16-member squad with Ajinkya Rahane as the new captain and Cheteshwar Pujara as his deputy. Virat Kohli shall miss the first Test to manage the workload issues. he shall resume as the squad as the Captain for the second Test match. The 16-member squad includes 6 batsmen, 2 wicket-keepers, 4 all-rounders, and 4 pacers. 

Basis the squad that played in England, the team sees new additions in the form of KS Bharat, Shreyas Iyer, and Jayant Yadav. Shubman Gill, who missed the squad due to injury is back in the squad. Whereas Mayank Agarwal and Prasidh Krishna, who were added as injury covers manage to retain their place in the squad. 

Key Omissions

The key omissions from the squad include Captain Virat Kohli for the first Test. Whereas Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami shall miss the entire Test series. Surprisingly, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant are playing the preceding T20I series as the Captain and first-choice wicket-keeper respectively. 

Apart from this, Hanuma Vihari, Prithvi Shaw, and Suryakumar Yadav, who were added to the squad in England are missing from the Test squad. While Hanuma Vihari and Prithvi Shaw are going to South Africa to represent India A for the Test series, the reason for Suryakumar Yadav’s exclusion is not known. 

The exclusion of Hanuma Vihari surprises the most. In only his last Test innings where he was injured, he played a mammoth match-winning 23 off 161 balls to save the Test match. During that knock, he suffered an injury, and since then didn’t get a chance to play for India. Hopefully, Vihari is back for the South Africa Test series. 

So, here’s the official squad for Team India breaking it category-wise.

Team India’s Official Squad for 2021 Test Series vs New Zealand

Batsmen: Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (WK), Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill & Wriddhiman Saha (WK)

All-rounders: Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja & Ravichandran Ashwin 

Bowlers: Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna & Umesh Yadav 

*Virat Kohli to join the squad as captain for the second Test. 

Coach: Rahul Dravid // Captain: Ajinkya Rahane // Vice-captain: Cheteshwar Pujara

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