Pune: Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay and Parthiv Patel have all earned call-ups into a strong 18-man squad for India's four-Test series against Australia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced on Friday.
Vijay, who was dropped for the last two Test against England, made a comeback to the side, Shikhar Dhawan was dropped from the Test team.
In addition to Pant, the selectors also included the experienced Parthiv Patel as the second wicketkeeper for the Tests.
India Test squad for the 4-Test series for Australia Tour 2018:
Virat Kohli (Capt.), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Hardik Pandya was a notable absentee from the Test side. The all-rounder, who played the Test series against England before suffering a hip injury during the Asia Cup against Pakistan for which he had to be stretchered off the field misses out after failing to fully recover.
His injury is a major blow given how much it affects the balance of the side but with the World Cup in eight months time, the team management has decided to not take a risk with the all-rounder.
On the other hand, Dhawan's opening partner in limited overs, Rohit Sharma made a comeback to the Test squad. To make way for Rohit, Mayank Agarwal was dropped from the side.
Recent debutants Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant retained their place in the squad.