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India vs New Zealand: Gautam Gambhir returns to Test squad after two years, replaces KL Rahul

Gautam Gambhir returns to India Test squad after a gap of two years as KL Rahul is ruled out of the New Zealand series.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
September 27, 2016 10:25:28 pm
gautam gambhir, gambhir, india vs new zealand, ind vs nz, india new zealand, gambhir cricket, kl rahul, cricket news, cricket Gautam Gambhir last played for India in the 2014 England series. (Source: Express file photo)

India opening batsmen Gautam Gambhir returned to the Test team after a gap of two years after playing his last Test back in 2014. He will replace injured KL Rahul for the remaining part of the New Zealand series. The second Test between India and New Zealand begins on Friday at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Off-spinner Jayant Yadav has also been asked to join the squad in place of Ishant Sharma, who is suffering from chikungunya and will be out of the second Test. Jayant is yet to make his debut for India in Tests. The BCCI in a release said they will continue to monitor Ishant’s health.

Rahul suffered a hamstring injury during the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur while running between the wickets while was ruled out of the Test due to his disease.

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Gambhir’s comeback in on the basis of his performance in the Duleep Trophy where he scored 356 runs at an average of 71.20. He had four back-to-back half-centuries in five innings with two scores of 90-plus. In his last innings in Duleep Trophy this year, he was dismissed for 36. He last played for India against England in 2014.

Shikhar Dhawan is already in the India Test squad for the New Zealand series as the third opener. Murali Vijay is the other opener for India.

According to PTI, Gambhir had earlier cleared a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy alongwith Yuvraj Singh. Jasprit Bumrah and Barinder Sran were the other two players who had appeared the test.

India have a long home season ahead with four series lined-up and BCCI is keeping a pool from which it can pick players for the Test and ODI series against visiting teams.

The Indian cricket team reached Kolkata on Tuesday but Rahul and coach Anil Kumble did not land at the airport. The latter is supposed to join the team on Wednesday.

With the two new changes, the India squad for next two matches is: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Gautam Gambhir and Jayant Yadav.

India will play the second Test in Kolkata and then travel to to Indore for the third Test which begins on September October 8. The Test series will be followed by a five-match ODI series against New Zealand.

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