kohli-rested-for-opening-nz-test

Kohli rested for opening NZ Test

Josh Gorton

Comment & Analysis

Kohli will return for the second Test in Mumbai next month, although Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will miss the entire two-match series

Last Updated: 12/11/21 1:51pm

    Kohli will return for the second Test match in Mumbai, the BCCI confirmed

    Kohli will return for the second Test match in Mumbai, the BCCI confirmed

    Virat Kohli will be rested for India’s opening Test match against New Zealand later this month, with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane set to deputise in his absence.

    Rahane will captain a depleted India side in the opening Test in Kanpur from November 25-29, before Kohli returns for the second and final Test in Mumbai on December 3, the BCCI has confirmed.

    Rohit Sharma – who will take the reins in the T20I series against the Black Caps – will not feature in the two-match series, with wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and fast bowling duo Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami also among the high-profile absentees.

    KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj all feature in the 16-player squad for the opening Test, while Shreyas Iyer and off-spinner Jayant Yadav also return to the Test fold.

    Rohit Sharma, who will captain India in the T20I series against the Black Caps, won't feature in the two-match Test series

    Rohit Sharma, who will captain India in the T20I series against the Black Caps, won’t feature in the two-match Test series

    Wriddhiman Saha is expected to don the wicketkeeping gloves in Pant’s absence, although KS Bharat – who starred for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the latter stages of the 2021 IPL season – has earned a call-up.

    Prasidh Krishna could also be handed his Test match debut, as India look to avenge their defeat to New Zealand in June’s inaugural World Test Championship final.

    The sides have not met in the longer format since June’s showdown, although the Black Caps also overcame India in the group stages of the T20 World Cup, en route to reaching their third limited-overs final in six years.

    Kane Williamson inspired New Zealand to victory over India in the inaugural World Test Championship final in June

    Kane Williamson inspired New Zealand to victory over India in the inaugural World Test Championship final in June

    New Zealand are also set to be under-strength as they return to red-ball action, with left-arm seamer Trent Boult and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme both missing out.

    Boult and De Grandhomme opted out of the two-match series due to ‘bubble fatigue’ and the prospect of having to spend 14 days isolating in New Zealand’s mandatory hotel quarantine.

    Will Young is set to return from a wrist injury, although Kane Williamson’s side could be without Devon Conway, who has been ruled out of this weekend’s T20 World Cup final after breaking his right hand during their semi-final victory against England.

    Watch the T20 World Cup final as New Zealand take on Australia in Dubai live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 1pm on Sunday.