India Rest Several Stars for New Zealand Tests

Virat Kohli back for second Test

Ishant Sharma playing for India

India will be without several first-choice players for the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur in November 2021.

These four players have been rested for both Tests:

  1. Rohit Sharma
  2. Rishabh Pant
  3. Jasprit Bumrah
  4. Mohammed Shami

All-rounder Shardul Thakur and batsman and Hanuma Vihari have also been excluded.

Batsman Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli, who will return for the second Test.

India Squad for New Zealand Test Series

  1. Ajinkya Rahane (captain)
  2. KL Rahul
  3. Mayank Agarwal
  4. Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain)
  5. Shubman Gill
  6. Shreyas Iyer
  7. Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper)
  8. KS Bharat (wicketkeeper)
  9. Ravindra Jadeja
  10. Ravichandran Ashwin
  11. Axar Patel
  12. Jayant Yadav
  13. Ishant Sharma
  14. Umesh Yadav
  15. Mohammed Siraj
  16. Prasidh Krishna
  17. Virat Kohli (second Test only)

New Head Coach of India

Former captain Rahul Dravid, meanwhile, has been appointed the new head coach of India. He has succeeded former head coach Ravi Shastri, whose four-year tenure ended earlier this month.

“The quality of cricket this team has played over the last five years across all formats, the performances are there for everyone to see,” said Shastri.

“When you perform in that fashion, when you go across the globe, across all formats and beat teams, then you know you're part of one great cricket team.

“I'm not saying a great cricket team, India – I'm saying one of the great cricket teams in the history of the game, because if you look at those kind of performances, they don't happen often.

“You've got to have a bunch of players who are fit, hungry, fearless, have the quality, have the belief, and then to stay fit so that you can play those five years together and go across the globe and perform everywhere.”

India at 2021 T20 World Cup

India failed to reach the semi-finals of the 2021 T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The tournament was eventually won by Australia, who beat New Zealand in the final.

“I'm not here to make any sort of excuses. It's something for the boys to learn and they'll get an opportunity again next year. It's not often you have two World Cups in 12 months, so hopefully, they'll go and kick some butt there,” added Shastri.

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