|| CF DESK ||
With a strain in his left thigh, KL Rahul has been ruled out of the next two-Test series against New Zealand. Suryakumar Yadav has been added to the squad in his stead, two days before the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur, at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal will likely begin for India in the absence of Rahul - Rohit Sharma has been rested for the series.
Along with Rohit, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah have all been rested, as has usual Test skipper Virat Kohli, though Kohli will return to lead the side in the second Test in Mumbai.
Suryakumar, a 31-year-old middle-order batsman, was also a last-minute addition to the red-ball group that toured England earlier this year, but he has yet to play in the format.
Suryakumar has been a significant contributor for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy, where he has established himself as a regular in India's T20I team.
Suryakumar scored 508 runs in ten innings in the most recent first-class season, with two hundreds and two fifties, at an average of 56.44 and a strike rate of 95.13. He has played in 77 first-class matches, 71 of which have been in the Ranji Trophy.
India squad for New Zealand Test series: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav Wriddhiman Saha (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna; Virat Kohli to join squad for second Test and lead the side