Team India, on the eve of the first Test in Adelaide, have announced their playing XI and have picked Prithvi Shaw and Wriddhiman Saha ahead of Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant. Umesh Yadav makes the cut as the third seamer, while Ravichandran Ashwin has also been picked in the side.
On the back of Prithvi Shaw’s dreaded run in the warm-up games, Shubman Gill, who conveniently outscored him, was expected to take the field for the first Test in Adelaide, but the Indian management have decided to put their faith in the incumbent. BCCI took to Twitter to announce the playing XI for the first Test in Adelaide on Thursday and confirmed that Shaw, who posted scores of 0,19,40 and 3 will open the batting alongside Mayank Agarwal in the first Test.
The inclusion of Shaw was not the only controversial call the management took as they also chose to overlook Rishabh Pant, despite him scoring a quickfire ton in the second warm-up game against Australia A. Pant, who played in the New Zealand series and was expected to start the Tests, has instead been replaced by Wriddhiman Saha, who has only played 4 SENA Tests in his career. Saha scored a valiant fifty in the first warm-up game against Australia A, and is seen by the management as the ‘safer’ option behind the stumps.
The only other slot open in the side was the spot of the third seamer, and that has been taken up by Umesh Yadav, who impressed in the first warm-up game at the Drummoyne Oval. Despite speculations of India potentially fielding an all-pace attack, Ravichandran Ashwin has also been named in the starting XI for Adelaide.
India playing XI for first Test: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah