New Delhi: The MSK Prasad-led senior selection committee on Tuesday picked a 16-member Indian squad for the one-off Test match to be played against Bangladesh in Hyderabad from January 9 and the inclusion of Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund was the only big surprise.
Mukund, who has played five Test matches for India, last turned out for the national team in 2011 on the tour to England. The left-handed batsman has been included in the squad as a back-up opener, with Murali Vijay and KL Rahul being the automatic first choice opening duo.
Mukund captained his side Tamil Nadu in the recently concluded Ranji Trophy season where the 27-year-old accumulated 849 runs that included four centuries.
Saha though has been the number one choice as wicketkeeper in Test cricket since MS Dhoni's retirement, and he did no harm to his status by scoring a century against Parthiv's Gujarat while turning out for the Rest of India team in the Irani Cup.
Indian captain Virat Kohli will be looking to continue his winning run, which has seen India return to the top of the ICC rankings in Test cricket.
The spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav will be expected to trouble the inexperienced Bangladeshis along with providing lower order support to the batting unit.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar makes a return to the Test squad, after last playing against New Zealand, in the absence of the injured Mohammad Shami. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma are the other two quicks in the squad.
Hardik Pandya and Amit Mishra too find themselves in the mix but a place in the playing XI looks a difficult proposition for the duo just yet.
Indian Squad for Bangladesh Test: Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya