India retain struggling Sharma for Kiwi Tests

Published On: September 12, 2016 03:42 PM NPT By: Agence France-Presse

NEW DELHI, Sept 12: India have kept faith with Rohit Sharma, on Monday naming the out-of-form middle-order batsman in a 15-man squad for the home Test series against New Zealand beginning later this month.

The 29-year-old Mumbai batsman last scored a Test century nearly three years ago against the West Indies.

On India’s recent tour of West Indies, Sharma, who averages 32.62 from 18 Tests, scored nine and 41 in the only match that he played in the four-Test series.

“Rohit is a fabulous player, with immense talent,” chief selector Sandeep Patil told reporters in Mumbai.

“We have stuck to the combination which has done very well for us. We were of the opinion that this was the best possible combination for New Zealand.”

The selectors retained 15 of the 17 players who toured the West Indies, where India won the Test series 2-0, with allrounder Stuart Binny and seamer Shardul Thakur the two to miss out.

The series against New Zealand marks the beginning of a busy season that will see India play 13 home Tests between now and March next year.

The first Test against New Zealand begins in the northern city of Kanpur on September 22. The second Test is in Kolkate and the three-Test series finishes in Indore.

India squad: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli (captain), Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

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