In order to prepare for various challenges that Australia may throw at India in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting February 9 in Nagpur, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have roped in the likes of Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Kumar, and Sai Kishore to join the Indian squad. While Washington provides the off-spin challenge, Chahar, a leg-spinner, Saurabh Kumar, and R Sai Kishore provide the slow left-arm orthodox options.
India already have the likes of R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravindra Jadeja in the 15-member squad, but bowling extra overs in the nets might hamper their workload management, hence the board decided to go with four frontline bowlers with a great deal of experience on the domestic circuit.
Sundar last played a Test for India back in March 2021, but injuries and the rise of Axar Patel have ensured that the red-ball appearance has been limited to a great deal. Saurabh Kumar, one of the most consistent bowlers in India, made his way into the Indian Test squad for the recent Bangladesh series but the return of Jadeja meant he has been kept out.
Even though Ravindra Jadeja returned for the series, after having proven his fitness in the Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu, India have multiple injury issues to deal with, not least losing two of their best batters of spin - Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant.
The matches will be played in Nagpur, Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad respectively from February 9 and after the conclusion of the four-match series, both sides will be involved in a three-match ODI series.
Two more spinners added
To counter the threat of Nathan Lyon, India will also have Haryana spinner Jayant Yadav, who has six Test caps as a net bowler along with Delhi's Pulkit Narang, currently with the Services team, according to a report on Cricbuzz.
India's Test squad for the first two Tests against Australia
Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav