Bumrah will add variety to the test squad in South Africa, says MSK Prasad

[caption id="attachment_59179" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Sri Lanka trails India by 180 runs at stumps Day 3. Pic Courtesy: twitter BCCI announced 17 member test squad for the South Africa series | Image : ICC[/caption]

Debasis Sen, Delhi: There is no real surprise in the 17 member test squad for the forthcoming tour to South Africa. Medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah is the only new face in the team for the three-match series in the rainbow nation next month.

Wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel also returned to the test side after an year's gap but will be behind Wriddhiman Saha in the pecking order.

"This is one of the most balanced side to tour South Africa," chairman of the selection committee MSK Prasad told reporters, calling it the easiest selection meeting.

Bumrah's unorthodox action and his ability to bowl yorkers almost at will have made him a limited-overs asset and Prasad felt it was time to blood the bowler, who turns 24 on Wednesday, in the long format.

"If you see his performance for the past 18 months, he's been phenomenal, he's been sensational, he's done outstandingly well in both one-day and Twenty20," Prasad said.
"Considering his Ranji Trophy performance last year, it was a unanimous decision. He definitely adds variety to our pace attack. Considering the nature of the wickets there, I think it wull suit his bowling."

Patel made a test comeback after eight years against England last year when Saha sustained an injury, managing two fifties in four innings.

"When you go to South Africa, you definitely require two wicketkeepers, you cannot take a chance. We gave him an opportunity against England and he did beyond our expectations.

"We all know that Wriddhiman Saha is the number one wicketkeeper but we still need a back-up wicketkeeper. Right now, he (Patel) is the next best wicketkeeper in India.

"His domestic performance is also good, so there is no two ways about it."

Currently engaged in a three-test series against Sri Lanka, world number one India will leave for South Africa later this month to play three tests there, beginning on January 5 at Cape Town.

India will also play six one-day and three Twenty20 matches there.

Prasad also named the Indian team for the three-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka resting regular captain Virat Kohli and putting Rohit Sharma in charge.

India's test squad against South Africa: Virat Kohli (captain), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.


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