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Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari named in India’s squad for last two Tests

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A BCCI release on Wednesday confirmed the inclusion of the prodigious Prithvi Shaw and 24 year old Hanuma Vihari in the Indian squad for the fourth and fifth Test matches scheduled to be held at Southampton and at The Oval. But opener Murali Vijay and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav faces the axe as they were even overlooked for the third Test match at Trent Bridge. Vijay, understandably, has been dropped from the side because of a string of low scores in the first two Test matches while it was more of bad luck for Yadav, who had a fantastic limited-overs’ leg. The 23-year old got just one opportunity to prove himself in the Test series when he made the playing XI for the Lords’ Test match. But the pitch, assisting more pace than spin saw him concede 44 runs without a wicket in the nine overs he bowled in the match.

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Shaw’s call-up to the Test team isn’t much of a surprise, especially after he has been piling up runs for India A. He scored a masterful 188 against West Indies A and also had scores of 62 and 136 against England Lions and South Africa A, respectively. The 18-year old, who averages an impressive 56.72 in first-class cricket had led India to U-19 World Cup glory earlier this year, is already quite a known name in the domestic circuit. Having scored a hundred on debut at the Ranji Trophy, the young right-hander broke the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s record when he became the youngest player to score a ton on debut in the Duleep Trophy.

Vihari, on the other hand, makes it into the squad on the back of some strong batting performances. Batting at the crucial number three position for India A, he had cracked a strokeful 148 against South Africa A in Alur some time ago. He also is the captain of the Andhra Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy-a competition where he averages 59.79 with a best score of 302* in 63 matches he played since November 2010.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is still grappling with an injury to his lower back hasn’t been named in the squad.

India’s squad for the last two Tests: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Hanuma Vihari.

 

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