February 14, 2017 / 8:56 AM / 7 months ago

Cricket-India unchanged for first two Australia tests

MUMBAI, Feb 14 (Reuters) - India have kept faith with the 16-man squad that cruised to victory in the one-off test against Bangladesh for the first two matches of the home series against Australia starting next week.

The world’s top-ranked test side are unbeaten in their last 19 contests and completed a comprehensive 208-run win against their South Asian neighbours on Monday in an ideal warm-up for the four matches to come against Australia.

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who missed the last two tests of the recent five-match series against England with a leg injury, was not considered fit enough for selection to the side named on Tuesday.

Batsman Rohit Sharma, who injured his thigh during the one-day international series against New Zealand in October, only recently resumed training after undergoing surgery in England and was also deemed short of match fitness.

Uncapped left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav replaced injured leg-spinner Amit Mishra in the squad for the Bangladesh test and he retained his place for the first two tests against the second-ranked Australians.

Mishra hurt his knee while fielding during India’s Twenty20 win over England in Bengaluru on Feb. 1.

Pune will make its debut as a test venue for the series-opener from Feb. 23, before the sides move on to Bengaluru and two more new test venues in Ranchi and Dharamsala.

Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by John O‘Brien)

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