Out-of-form Indian opener Lokesh Rahul has been dropped while rookie Shubman Gill has received his maiden call-up for the upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa starting October 2.
Rahul has struggled to score runs in recent times. Even in the recently concluded two-match Test series against West Indies, he managed to score only 101 runs – 44, 38, 13 and 6 respectively. He hasn’t scored a half-century since his 149 against England at the Oval some twelve innings back.
The chief selector MSK Prasad had earlier acknowledged that Rahul’s form in Tests was a cause of concern for the team and that the management might pick limited-overs opener Rohit Sharma to open the innings in the five-day format as well.
Meanwhile, Gill has received his maiden Test call owing to his great run in the recent times. He scored 90 and 5 in the first unofficial Test against South Africa ‘A’ that concluded on Thursday to boost his chances.
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav has also been dropped from the 15-man squad that recently beat the Windies 2-0 in the away series.
India squad for South Africa Tests:
Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill.