Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will not be a part of the second Test in Nagpur as they have been released from the squad following requests from the duo owing to personal reasons. Vijay Shankar has been named as the replacement for Bhuvneshwar while no replacement has been named for Dhawan.
Bhuvneshwar was remarkable in the first match at the Eden Gardens and was awarded the Man of the Match prize for his match haul of 8 for 96, which included an eye-catching spell of 4 for 8 on a thrilling final day in which Sri Lanka managed to hold on to a draw. Dhawan also showed signs of form hitting 94 runs in the second innings of the match.
The Uttar Pradesh pacer is scheduled to get married on November 23 and hence will not be considered for selection for the remaining two Tests of the series while Dhawan has made himself available for the third Test scheduled to be held in his hometown of Delhi.
Despite the exclusion of Bhuvneshwar, the Indian pace attack still wears a menacing look with Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav in the team and that will be compounded by the inclusion of Vijay Shankar who put in strong performances for India A in recent months.
Although Shankar went wicket-less and was out for a duck in Tamil Nadu’s draw against Madhya Pradesh in the previous round of the Ranji Trophy that concluded yesterday, he had scored a century against Odisha and picked up a four-wicket haul in the game against Mumbai.
However, Vijay might have to wait for a debut cap as Ishant Sharma, who was also part of the original squad, is favorite to come in as Bhuvneshwar's replacement for the second Test if Nagpur provides a similar strip as of Edens. And also, Murali Vijay is a sure starter for the opener's position in Dhawan’s absence alongside KL Rahul.
India squad for second Test: Virat Kohli (capt), KL Rahul, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-capt), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Vijay Shankar.
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