Australia in India 2016-17 March 9, 2017

India retain Vijay; Pandya out injured

ESPNcricinfo staff
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M Vijay missed the Bengaluru Test due to an injury to his left shoulder © AFP

M Vijay, the India opener, has kept his place in the squad for the final two Tests against Australia. He had picked up an injury to his left shoulder while fielding in Pune and had to miss the Bengaluru Test, but with a week left until the start of the next one in Ranchi, he appears to have time to recover and become the 29th Indian to 50 Test caps.

Allrounder Hardik Pandya, who has shoulder troubles of his own, was the only player to be cut from the 16-man squad chosen at the start of the tour.

Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami, who have recovered from protracted thigh and knee problems respectively, have played List A cricket over the past week but they are yet to prove their fitness over the course of a first-class match; that could perhaps be the reason they have not been picked here.

Head coach Anil Kumble had stressed on a protocol by which first-choice picks could walk back into the XI after injury provided they play the same format in domestic cricket and prove their fitness. Rohit made 4 and 16 for Mumbai in one-day cricket while Shami picked up 0 for 36 for Bengal and practiced with the Indian team at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, though he mostly bowled off a short run-up.

India retained Abhinav Mukund as the third opener despite his underwhelming returns in the second Test; he made 0 and 16 in his first international game in over five years. The extra opener is especially needed given the recent niggles for their top-order batsmen - apart from Vijay's injury, Rahul's left shoulder caused him some concern in Pune and Cheteshwar Pujara said he had to fight a sore neck during his match-winning 92 in Bengaluru.

India's bowling line-up was unchanged. Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Bhuneshwar Kumar were the seamers. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, both No. 1 on the ICC rankings for Test bowlers, led the spin department which also includes offspinner Jayant Yadav and left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav.

The series is square at 1-1 and is set to resume on March 16 with the first Test ever to be played in Ranchi. Then Dharamsala makes its debut on March 25.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • spinkingKK on March 12, 2017, 23:41 GMT

    @Raj12345, well said. Mukund showed promises in England itself, before he got dropped. Now, in the second test second innings, he played some good shots and it was difficult pitch to bat on and he got out. I agree that he should be given more chances if possible. Another thing I find difficult to understand is, Indian fans asking for Ishant Sharma to be replaced by someone like Bhuvi Kumar or even Shami. I believe Ishant's contribution to India's victories are hard to measure. He may not be getting wickets, but he is a very good bowler and in my lifetime, I have never seen a genuine Indian fast bowler like him. Still, they want him to be replaced by Bhuvi Kumar, even after seeing his great bowling in the second test (he just didn't have the wickets to show for it). These people who are commenting to get Ishan'ts head doesn't realize that they may not see another one like him for a very long time. It will be all stocky skidders and 130kph spin bowlers after he leaves.

  • Coolcapricorn on March 12, 2017, 15:16 GMT

    Guess we might get another one or two wickets from Ishant in total from both these remaining two Tests if we are lucky!

  • Sunrise on March 12, 2017, 6:19 GMT

    Don't understand how and why Mukund got chance. There are plenty other players out there waiting for chance and you are bringing the old man who didn't played for 6 years. Why the hell you kept Jayant Yadav outside. If you have enough spinner then take him as a batsmen. He plays well than any opener.

  • Test_Match_Fan on March 12, 2017, 3:58 GMT

    1 change should be made: Drop A. Mukund Karun Nair should open. Jayant Yadav should come back.

  • cricfan28247270 on March 11, 2017, 18:46 GMT

    when will the selectors realize to drop ishant sharma and umesh yadav they have gotten many chances include some new talent.

  • cenitin on March 11, 2017, 10:21 GMT

    @Dues. I am not biased. Karun also deserved chances and will get in the future. He is in 15 and any time comes in. Rohit played good chunk of the matches abroad and even not more than 2 at one go. Now when he began to perform and got opportunity in India he got injured. Now only 2 test left so we should include him. And he likes Aus too. By the looks of things Karun is not that comfortable against fast bowling. Also as per me apart from Vijay, Pujara, Kohli and may be Rahane no other Indian batsman have fixed spot right now. Mukund also was not supposed to play second test too but he did. In last 5-10 matches how many times indian openers got injured just before the game. And we already saw third opener got the opportunity. I am not against Mukund but to play him against Aus in his come back when he already failed once and series is locked at 1-1 is not good thing for both Indian and him. We couldn't effort any other loss oin this series and need to win alteast one test out of two

  • dues on March 11, 2017, 7:35 GMT

    @CENITIN. How rohit is better than rohit better than karun? even after 15 Tests rohit not have fixed spot in 11 like Rahul now? But Karun nair has 300 in 2 match. He is started like Sobers (365* as maiden century),lara (277 as maiden century). Bias.partial.not true Team India fan. Team matters not Individual. Pleae sake of god agree that as rohit get 19 tests to prove himself why not Nair? 2)Mukund will not in 11 Now.as vijay come.and rohit is not specialist opener so no chance. Test is all about specialist.like saha not parthiv.

  • cenitin on March 10, 2017, 18:56 GMT

    @DUES It was typo. I typed 75 in place of 57. But even 57 is good enough. And he got less innings as he was unlucky and got injured. That's why I am asking to include him when he improved his performance . And here one thing Rohit is not competing with Sachin or any player with caliber of Sachin. I can understand you are considering him with Voges but who is Sachin in Rohit case. Even I didn't take name of any player in my post. He just need to be in 15 for sure and may be in 11 also depends on combination we play. I would not play Karun and Mukund in same team. If one of Rahul or Vijay is injured then Pujara should open and we should include Rohit. I think Rohit is better than Mukund and Karun both. But I know you won't understand, it is clearly displaying from your previous posts. You are replying ever one who supported Rohit. You are a blind Rohit hater who are praying for his injury. Please don't feel pity for others, you deserved all that. Get well soon.

  •   Aditya Nigam on March 10, 2017, 17:46 GMT

    Abhinav Mukund could be replaced by Parthiv Patel.

  • SamRoy on March 10, 2017, 17:28 GMT

    @Nampally Pujara is old school in terms of his concentration and his technique but not his batting grip. Have you seen his grip on the bat? Purists like Gavaskar would never have such a bottom-handed grip. His right hand grips the bat at the shoulder of the bat i.e. the lowest possible place you can hold at on the bat handle. That's why when the ball bounces more than he expects he sometimes gets into a tangle. And that prevents him from playing a few conventional shots effectively. Anyway, I am a fan of Pujara too. I think on a turning pitch Pujara at his best is one of the best batsmen vs spin bowling in the world (if not the best). But I am not a blind supporter of his so that I will look past his weaknesses.

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