Mumbai, Feb 19 (UNI): Rohit Sharma has been appointed as India’s Test captain, the chief selector Chetan Sharma announced on Saturday.
While announcing the T20I and Test squads for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka, Chetan said, “Rohit Sharma is the number one cricketer of our country. He is absolutely fit. When a big player like him becomes a captain, the grooming part becomes easy.”
India will play three T20Is followed by two Tests against Sri Lanka, starting February 24.
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been named Rohit’s deputy for both T20Is and Tests. Former India skipper Virat Kohli and wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant have been rested for the T20I leg, while Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma have been dropped from Test squad.
“We thought deeply about Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. They have been informed about their exclusion. They were asked to play Ranji Trophy. Just two Test matches, selectors thought to give youngsters a chance,” said Chetan.
“Virat and Rishabh have been rested for the last game (third T20I against West Indies). They have already been sent home. They are also rested against Sri Lanka T20Is only,” he added.
Shardul Thakur has also been rested for Sri Lanka series, while KL Rahul and Washington Sundar have been ruled out as both had suffered left hamstring strain during ODIs against West Indies.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will make a return after recovering from his knee injury.
Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin, who is undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, has been selected subject to fitness.
“Now that Jadeja is fit, we hope he does well. We missed him when he was injured,” said Chetan, adding, “He (Ashwin) will be assessed by the team management and looked after by the medical team before Mohali Test.”
When asked about Hardik Pandya’s fitness, the chief selector said, “Hardik was an important part of the Indian team. We will consider him again when he is 100 percent fit, is bowling and match-fit.”