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Mumbai opener finally gets chance in Test after Rohit Sharma is ruled out

Mumbai’s opener Prithvi Shaw will replace fellow Mumbai opener Rohit Sharma in India‘s starting XI for the two-game Test series against New Zealand that starts from February 21.

The announcement was made by the national selection committee who also declared the 16-member squad which also includes the likes Ishant Sharma (if he gets fit in time) and Navdeep Saini.

After having sustained a calf injury in the last T20I, it was revealed on Monday that Rohit would not be a part of the remainder of India’s tour of New Zealand. As a result, Karnataka’s opener Mayank Agarwal comes in as Rohit’s replacement in India’s ODI squad.

Punjab opener Shubman Gill also maintains his position in the team that played the Test series against South Africa in 2019. Gill will enter the Test series with momentum, having scored an unbeaten double-hundred for in the 1st unofficial Test for India A.

It will be a happy start to 2020 for Shaw, who returns to the senior Test side after spending over a year on the sidelines. While he had been selected for the Test series against Australia back in December 2018, the youngster caught an ankle injury during a warm-up match, ruling him out of the offing.

As if that was not enough, Shaw was handed a backdated suspension in July for a doping violation after consuming a prohibited substance, usually found in cough syrups.

However, since his return to action in November, the youngster has been setting the domestic circle on fire. The 20-year-old amassed 240 runs in five innings in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament for Mumbai. Then for India A tour of New Zealand, Shaw scored 150 runs off just 100 balls in the warm-up match against New Zealand XI before knocking 105 runs in the 3 unofficial ODI innings that followed.

Elsewhere, Ishant Sharma’s participation in the Test series is shrouded with fear of injury after the experienced seamer caught an ankle injury while playing against Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy match last month.

India Test squad: Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli (c), Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk),Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma (subject to fitness clearance), Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini

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