Dhawan, after an underwhelming England tour, was given the axe
Dhawan, after an underwhelming England tour, was given the axe

India opener Shikhar Dhawan has been dropped for the two-match Test series against West Indies starting October 4. Karnataka’s Maynak Agarwal gets a maiden Test call-up alongside pacer Mohammad Siraj.

Regulars Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been rested while Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya were not considered for selection, as they are yet to recover from their injuries.

Prithvi Shaw has retained his place in the side after failing to make the playing XI in the last two Tests in England. Considering that Dhawan has been shown the door, young Shaw could finally get his chance to open the batting with KL Rahul, who had saved his place with a century in the final Test against England.

Agarwal had scored 1160 runs in the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season and is the leading List A run-scorer for 2018 so far with at 1593 runs at an average of nearly 70/. The 27-year-old scored 90 for Board President’s XI in the ongoing practice match against Windies on Saturday.

Karun Nair, who warmed the benches in for all the five Tests against England had also been dropped with Hanuma Vihari, who made his Test debut in the final Test retaining his place. Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and Siraj make up thepace attacj while Ravichandran Ashwin leads the spin with Kuldeep Yadav back in the reckoning.

The first Test will be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot from October 4 to 8, followed by the second match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad from October 12 to 16.

Indian team for the West Indies Tests: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur