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KL Rahul named captain for first Test; Navdeep Saini, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Jaydev Unadkat added to squad




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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that Indian captain Rohit Sharma will be missing the opening Test match against Bangladesh with an injury. Rohit suffered a minor left thumb injury while fielding during the second ODI against Bangladesh in Mirpur on Wednesday (December 7). However, he returned to bat and smashed 51* while playing at the no.9 position.

Rohit missed the third and final ODI as he returned to India to get medical consultation in Mumbai. But now the Indian opener is ruled out of the first Test which starts on December 14 in Chattogram. The Senior Selection Committee has named Bengal captain Abhimanyu Easwaran as his replacement for the first Test. The decision on his availability for the second Test will be taken later.

In Rohit’s absence, KL Rahul will be captaining the team with veteran Cheteshwar Pujara taking vice-captain’s duties. Apart from Rohit, star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and star pacer Mohammed Shami have failed to recover from their respective injuries and the BCCI has named Saurabh Kumar and Navdeep Saini as replacements.

Easwaran led India A to a big win in the second unofficial Test against the Bangladesh A team this week. He scored 157 runs in the first innings while Saurabh and Navdeep scored fifties to help India score a big total of 562. Saurabh also shone with the ball, taking six wickets in the second innings to give India a big win by an innings and 123 runs. Earlier on Saturday (December 10), the Senior Selection Committee added the in-form pacer Jayadev Unadkat to the squad to add more depth to pace options.

India’s updated squad for Bangladesh Tests: KL Rahul (C), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara (VC), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Navdeep Saini, Saurabh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat