Rahul to lead India in first Test vs Bangladesh in absence of injured Rohit; Saini, Saurabh replace Shami, Jadeja

Opener K.L. Rahul will lead India in the first of two Test matches against Bangladesh in absence of Rohit Sharma, who has been ruled out of the opening match due to his left thumb injury, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed on Sunday.

Rohit suffered a thumb injury during the second ODI against Bangladesh on Wednesday. He missed the third ODI, flew to Mumbai to meet a specialist and has been advised appropriate management for this injury.

The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Abhimanyu Easwaran as Rohit’s replacement for the first Test while Cheteshwar Pujara has been named as the vice-captain.

”India captain Rohit Sharma met with a specialist in Mumbai for his left thumb injury, which he sustained during the 2nd ODI against Bangladesh. He has been advised appropriate management for this injury and will not be available for the first Test against Bangladesh,” the BCCI said in a media release.

“The BCCI Medical Team will take a call on his availability for the second and final Test at a later stage. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Abhimanyu Easwaran as his replacement for the first Test,” it added.

The board also stated that Mohd. Shami and Ravindra Jadeja are yet to fully recover from their respective shoulder and knee injuries and are ruled out of the Test series.

“Fast bowler Mohd. Shami and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja are yet to fully recover from their respective shoulder and knee injuries and are ruled out of the Test series. The selectors have named Navdeep Saini and Saurabh Kumar as replacements for Shami and Jadeja respectively,” it said.

Meanwhile, fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat has also been added to India’s squad for the Test series.

The 31-year-old is receiving just the second call-up in his playing career to the Indian Test squad. His only appearance so far in Tests came almost 12 years ago, in the first Test of the 2010/11 tour of South Africa in Centurion.

Recently, Unadkat was the highest wicket-taker in the 2022/23 Vijay Hazare Trophy, picking up 19 wickets in ten matches to lead Saurashtra to the title. Apart from a solitary Test appearance, the left-hander has also played seven ODIs and ten T20Is for India, seen in the national set-up last time when India won the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in March 2018.

India’s updated squad: 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

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