Rookies Siraj and Iyer in T20 Squad; Vijay Makes Test Comeback

Selectors announced the squad for the T20 series vs NZ and first 2 Tests vs Sri Lanka.

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Cricket
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File picture of cricketer Mohammed Siraj with father Md Ghouse and mother Shabana Begum at his residence in Hyderabad.
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Rookie Hyderabad pacer Mohammed Siraj and prolific Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer are the two new faces in the Indian T20 squad announced on Monday for the three-match series against New Zealand starting November 1.

Despite speculation, skipper Virat Kohli has decided against taking rest from the New Zealand leg and the first two Tests against Sri Lanka, starting November 16. The first two Tests against Sri Lanka are to be held in Kolkata and Nagpur.

However, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad indicated that a "rotation policy will be applicable" for the captain as well.

It is expected that Kohli will be rested for the final Test and the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, which is slated in December as he would be required fresh and re- energised before the tough tour of South Africa.

There are no surprises in the Test squad with Abhinav Mukund making way for a fit-again first-choice opener Murali Vijay. Vijay did not take part in the last Test series against Sri Lanka due to hand injury and some other fitness related issues.

Predictably, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja made a comeback in the longer version with Kuldeep Yadav being the third specialist spinner.

Senior speedsters Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma are back in the squad for the five-day format along with Test specialists Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha.

Shreyas Iyer during his stint with Delhi Daredevils in the IPL
Shreyas Iyer during his stint with Delhi Daredevils in the IPL
(Photo: PTI)

Newbies in T20 Squad

While 23-year-old Siraj, who first came into prominence for Sunrisers Hyderabad, came up with some impressive performances for India A during a recent tour of South Africa and matches against New Zealand. Iyer has been a consistent performer for Mumbai and India A during the past one year.

He scored a double hundred earlier this year in a warm-up game against Australia along with a match-winning hundred in the final against South Africa A in the summit clash of an away tri-series.

His call-up is on expected lines as he has had some good knocks for the Delhi Daredevils in the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League.

Ashish Nehra, who will retire after the first T20 game on November 1, has been picked for only that game scheduled in his home ground of Delhi.

Squad for T20 Series vs NZ: Virat Kohli (captain) Sharma, Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ashish Nehra (only 1 game)

Test Squad (first t20 matches) vs Sri Lanka: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandra Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Mohamed Shami, Unmesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma.

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