Amit Mishra returns to India's Test squad
Legspinner Amit Mishra has been recalled to India's Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in August. Mishra, 32, last played a Test in 2011 and he took legspinner Karn Sharma's place in the team that had travelled to Bangladesh in June. It was the only change to India's 15-man squad.
Mishra has not played a Test since the 2011 tour of England, where he played two matches and took three wickets at an average of 106.66. In the 2014-15 Ranji Trophy season, Mishra played six matches for Haryana and took 10 wickets at an average of 20.40.
"Amit Mishra has always been part of our thinking," India's chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil said in Delhi. "If you remember, even last year he was in the reserves [for the West Indies series]. The final authority of picking the XI is the role of the captain and the team management. Why A was not played and why B was picked it is not what we get into. Looking at the conditions, we have picked him for this SL tour."
Karn and fast bowler Mohammed Shami were not considered because of fitness problems. Karn had been ruled out of India's tour of Zimbabwe in July with a fractured finger, and Shami is presently recovering from knee surgery.
Opener KL Rahul had missed the Test in Bangladesh because of dengue fever and his replacement Shikhar Dhawan made a hundred in that game, leaving India with three openers - M Vijay being the third - to choose from in Sri Lanka.
The selectors have not picked a reserve wicketkeeper in the squad as back up for Wriddhiman Saha. "We have a standby wicketkeeper we have nominated," Patil said. "Secretary and selectors, we are aware who is the wicketkeeper nominated if there is injury on the SL tour.
"Does he have the technique or not, time will tell," Patil said of Saha batting at No. 6. "We have backed him looking at his performance in domestic cricket. The kind of experience he carries. You immediately cannot replace someone like Dhoni and come in and deliver the results. But we certainly feel that Wriddhiman is the right option and looking at his ability in batting as well, he should strike a good balance."
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur also said Virat Kohli would turn out for India A in the second unofficial Test against Australia in Chennai from July 29-31.
"Virat Kohli had requested the selection committee for some match practice and wanted to play a game against Australia A," Thakur said. "He will be playing the second four day game against Australia A." Patil, however, confirmed that Cheteshwar Pujara would lead India A in the game.
Squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Varun Aaron, R Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Rohit Sharma, M Vijay, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul