New Delhi : Young Mumbai opener Prithvi Shaw and Andhra middle-order batsman G Hanuma Vihari were on Wednesday included in the Indian team for the final two Test matches against England.
Veteran opener Murali Vijay was axed after a disastrous show in the first two Tests while chinaman Kuldeep Yadav made way for an additional batsman as a third spinner is not required in the seamer-friendly English conditions.
Vijay bagged a ‘pair’ against England at the Lord’s and scored 20 and 6 in Birmingham. With Shikhar Dhawan and K L Rahul putting up a much improved show, the axe was always looming large on the 34-year-old Tamil Nadu opener.
Also his form outside the sub-continent has been wretched for sometime now even though he has a decent average of 39.33 across 59 Test matches. He has scored 3933 runs with 12 hundreds. There is a fair chance that Vijay has played his last Test at the Lord’s.
The 18-year-old Prithvi, who had captained India U-19 to World Cup triumph earlier this year, is set to be rewarded for his consistent show in the first-class arena.
Prithvi has scored 1418 runs in 14 first-class games with an average of 56.72 and seven centuries. He was one of the star performers along with Vihari and Mayank Agarwal during India A team’s recent tour of the UK.
He scored 188 in a first-class game against West Indies A in Beckenham and recently scored 136 against South Africa A in Bengaluru.
“I am feeling good, what else can I say. I cannot express myself in words. I am confident that India A’s recent tour of England will be helpful,” Prithvi told PTI on his selection.
Vihari, a member of the 2012 U-19 World Cup team, has been a consistent scorer in Ranji Trophy and has also done well for India A in recent times.
the tour of UK, he scored 147 in a List A game against West Indies A. He also had a half century in a four-day ‘Test’ against the same opponents. Recently, he also scored 54 and 148 in the two ‘Tests’ against South Africa A side at home.
The Squad (for 4th and 5th Test)
Virat Kohli (Cap), Shikhar Dhawan, K L Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Hanuma Vihari.