India call up Mishra for Sri Lanka tour
The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Thursday (July 23) picked Amit Mishra in the 15-man India squad to tour Sri Lanka for three Tests in August.
Mishra replaced Karn Sharma, who was ruled out due to a finger injury, in the only change from the squad that played a lone Test in Bangladesh last month.
KL Rahul missed the Test against Bangladesh due to an illness but has, expectedly, returned to the side after a first-innings 96 for India A against Australia A on Wednesday (July 22) in a four-day match. He will now fight for a spot with M Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, both of whom made centuries in the last Test.
Mishra, 32, made his Test debut in 2008 but has struggled to find a permanent place in the side. He has played only 13 Tests so far, the last of which was in England in 2011 where he faced issues with form and no-balls. He has picked up 43 wickets in Tests and also has two half-centuries to his name.
“Amit Mishra was always in our scheme of the things and part of our thinking,” said Sandip Patil, the chairman of selectors. “Pragyan Ojha’s name was discussed but looking at the wickets in Sri Lanka and their performance against legspinners, we gave preference to Amit Mishra.”
R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh, who returned to the Test side after a two-year hiatus against Bangladesh, are the other spinners in the squad.
Patil said that the selectors didn’t consider Karn and Mohammed Shami as they are yet to recover from their injuries. The selectors did not name a second wicketkeeper but said a back up option would be sent on short notice if needed.
The BCCI also announced that Virat Kohli, who will lead the side, will play the second unofficial Test between India A and Australia A in Chennai to gain match practice ahead of the tour.
The first of the three Tests will start on August 12 in Galle.
Squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.