Virat Kohli rested for first Test against New Zealand; Ajinkya Rahane to lead as BCCI announce 16-member squad for home series

Notably, Virat had asked for an extended break and has been excused for the entire T20I series as well as the opening Test match.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 12 November 2021 12:56 pm

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has announced a 16-member squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand at home. Virat Kohli has been rested for the first Test and Ajinkya Rahane has been named the captain in his absence with Cheteshwar Pujara being his deputy.  Meanwhile, it has also been conveyed that Virat will return for the second Test in Mumbai and will be back at the helm of affairs.

Notably, Virat had asked for an extended break and has been excused for the entire T20I series as well as the opening Test match. In other major developments, there is no Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant in the Test series who have also been handed a rest but were named in the white-ball series against the BlackCaps.

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been allowed time off for the complete T20I and Test series.

Meanwhile, Shubman Gill, who was out with an injury from the England Tests has made a comeback into the Test squad. KL Rahul, as well as Mayank Agarwal, have both been named in the side and it would be interesting to see the opening partnership the team decides to go ahead with for this series. While Wriddhiman Saha remains in the team and could be the preferred keeper with Pant rested, KS Bharat has also been included as the second wicketkeeper.

Shreyas Iyer, Jayant Yadav named in India's Test squad for New Zealand series

In yet another huge news, Shreyas Iyer has been named in the Test squad along with Jayant Yadav and Prasidh Krishna with several of the first-choice members rested. However, this could be a huge opportunity for those who get a chance in the two Test matches with the side gradually set to undergo a transition phase in the next few years.

The first Test match will be played at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur from November 25 with the second and final Test to begin from December 3 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

India's squad for New Zealand Tests:

A Rahane (c), C Pujara (vice-captain), KL Rahul, M Agarwal, S Gill, S Iyer, W Saha (wk), KS Bharat (wk), R Jadeja, R Ashwin, A Patel, J Yadav, I Sharma, U Yadav, Md Siraj, P Krishna