MUMBAI, (Reuters) – Opening batsman Murali Vijay returned to India’s squad for the first two tests against Sri Lanka next month after missing the matches against the same opponents earlier this year with a wrist injury.
The 33-year-old right-hander underwent surgery in England following the four-test series against Australia at the beginning of the year and missed India’s 3-0 victory in Sri Lanka in July-August.
The world’s top-ranked test side will have Vijay and KL Rahul back at the top of the batting order while Shikhar Dhawan will be the reserve opener in the 16-man squad.
Left-handed opener Abhinav Mukund missed out from the squad that toured Sri Lanka.
Kolkata’s Eden Gardens will host the opening match of the three-test series from Nov. 16 with the second and third tests in Nagpur and Delhi.
Talismanic batsman Virat Kohli will continue to lead the side but his workload is being monitored, India’s chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said.
India will also play three one-day internationals and the same number of T20s against Sri Lanka.
“With regard to Virat Kohli there has been some speculation that he’s going to be rested for the whole of Sri Lanka series,” Prasad told reporters yesterday.
“It’s not right. Yes, as far as test series is concerned, he’s going to play and at some point of time, the rotation policy that we’re following will also apply to the captain.
“We’re also monitoring his workload – he’s been playing continuously right from the IPL. We need to give him a break and we will consider after the test series.”
The Indian selectors also named the squad for the three Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand with batsman Shreyas Iyer and paceman Mohammed Siraj the new faces.
The first T20 on Nov. 1 in Delhi will be the last for paceman Ashish Nehra with the 38-year-old retiring from all formats of the game at his home ground.
Rahul, who was dropped from the ongoing three-match one-day international series against New Zealand, earned a place in the T20 squad against the Black Caps.
T20I squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ashish Nehra
Test squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.