Indian selectors have announced the 16-member squad for the Sri Lanka test series which begins from July 26.
Rohit Sharma comes in place of out-of-form Karun Nair. KL Rahul who hasn’t played competitive cricket since India’s test series against Australia in March, also returns to the squad.
Rohit Sharma last played Tests for India during the New Zealand series in October last year where he scored 238 runs at an average of 79.33.
He is yet to make a mark in the longest format where he has just two centuries at an average of 37.00 in the 36 innings that he has played.
After a good performance in the ICC Champions Trophy he was rested for the tour to West Indies, and he would be looking to continue his good form in the Tests as well.
KL Rahul has recovered from the shoulder injury and Murali Vijay is also fit again from his wrist and shoulder injury.
They will be opening the innings for India. Abhinav Mukund has been included as the reserve opener in the squad, and was preferred over Shikhar Dhawan.
Hardik Pandya has made a huge impact lately with his all-round skills. He missed out on the last two tests against Australia due to a shoulder injury.
He will make his debut in Tests if he features in the playing XI against Sri Lanka.
In the bowling department, the four specialist pace bowlers selected are Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami.
The spin twins, Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be strengthened by the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav who took 4 wickets against Australia in his debut test match in March.
Jayant Yadav who was a part of the squad in the previous Test series has been axed.
India will play a two-day warm-up match in Colombo on July 21 and July 22.
They are scheduled to play 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and one T20I against Sri Lanka during this tour, with the Test series starting from July 26. The three Test matches will be played at Galle, Colombo and Kandy.
Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhimann Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.