After having picked him back into the Indian Test side for the upcoming tough tour of Australia, chief selector MSK Prasad said that it is the suitability of Rohit Sharma's game for the expected pace and bounce conducive surfaces down under, that was considered before deciding on a return for the right-hand batsman.
Six members from the 18-member squad announced late night on Friday, October 26, - Murali Vijay, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel – will travel to New Zealand for an unofficial Test between India A and New Zealand A, to begin on November 16.
The game is scheduled to end less than two days before India's first T20I against Australia and hence, Rohit is expected to join the squad immediately after the red-ball match, that is being seen as a perfect warm-up before the all-important Border-Gavaskar Trophy starting December 6.
"With regard to Rohit, we felt he is a very good backfoot player. His game is suited for Australia," said Prasad, who dropped Rohit from the squad for the five-Test series in England after failures in South Africa.
On the other surprising selection, where Parthiv Patel was picked as the second wicketkeeper in the squad, Prasad noted, "He was not picked for the Afghanistan and England Tests. But subsequently, he played (well) in Duleep Trophy. He batted and kept well," and said, "We have brought in youth and experience; we wanted it because it will be a high-intensity series. He can bat anywhere in the top-order."
Team for Four Test match series against Australia announced— BCCI (@BCCI) October 26, 2018
Virat Kohli (C), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Shami, Ishant, Umesh, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
(Inputs from PTI)