Hardik Pandya, who was earlier included in the India squad for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka, has been rested from the series owing to his “heavy recent workload”, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a media statement on Friday. Virat Kohli will lead the 15-member team in the first two Tests with the opening Test slated to start on November 16 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Meanwhile, the BCCI confirmed that wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson will lead the Board President’s XI side in place of injured Naman Ojha for the two-day tour match against Sri Lanka from November 11-12.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee in consultation with the Indian team management has decided to rest all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the upcoming Paytm Test series against Sri Lanka. Mr Pandya was named in the squad for the first two Tests,” the BCCI stated.
“Considering Mr Pandya’s heavy recent workload, the decision was made to negate any possibility of a major injury concern. Mr Pandya will undergo a period of strength and conditioning at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.”
In-form Punjab youngster Anmolpreet Singh, who scored a career-best 267 in the last round Ranji Trophy match against Chhattisgarh, has been named as replacement for Naman Ojha. The 12-member Board President’s XI squad is coached by former India spinner Narendra Hirwani.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Sanju Samson as captain of the Board President’s XI for the warm-up match against Sri Lanka after Naman Ojha was ruled out due to injury. Anmolpreet Singh has been added to the squad,” the Indian cricket board announced.
India Test squad for the first two Tests: Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-Captain), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma.
Board President’s XI squad: Sanju Samson (C) (WK), Jiwanjot Singh, B Sandeep, Tanmay Agarwal, Abhishek Gupta, Rohan Prem, Akash Bhandari, Jalaj Saxena, Chama Milind, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, Ravi Kiran, Anmolpreet Singh.