The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday recalled veteran Delhi opener Gautam Gambhir to the Test team after a two-year gap as replacement for KL Rahul. Karnataka batsman Rahul was ruled out of the remainder of the Test series against New Zealand after suffering a hamstring injury in the Kanpur Test and didn’t field in New Zealand’s second innings.
The selection committee also named Haryana off-spinner Jayant Yadav as replacement for pacer Ishant Sharma, who is yet to recover from chikungunya and won’t be available for the second Test.
Even though there is a ready replacement in the form of Shikhar Dhawan, the team management was keen to have a specialist third opener in the squad for the Kolkata Test, which begins at the Eden Gardens on Friday . Earlier in the day , BCCI’s medical team confirmed that Rahul’s right hamstring injury would take a longer time to heal than anticipated.
Gautam Gambhir, who last played a Test in August 2014, led India Blue to victory in the Duleep Trophy earlier this month and scored heavily in the experimental day and-night tournament with the pink ball, averaging 71.20 from five innings. The left-hander cleared a fitness test and returned to Delhi on Tuesday evening.Gambhir will join the Indian squad in Kolkata on Wednesday for the next two Test matches.
Concerned about injuries and illness issues plaguing the players, the Indian team management had earlier asked a handful of players to be on standby , including middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh and pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Barinder Sran. All of them underwent fitness tests at the NCA on Tuesday .
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