IPL form takes Rahane into India squad

NEW DELHI, April 25

India recalled middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane today for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at the Oval in June.

Former vice-captain Rahane played the last of his 82 Tests in January 2022 but has been in impressive form in the ongoing IPL. The 34-year-old, who led Mumbai during entire domestic season, scored nearly 700 runs but what stood out was how he has improved his attacking game in the IPL and is looking more purposeful than ever before with a strike-rate of 190 in seven games so far.

With Shreyas Iyer sidelined due to a back injury which required surgery, India have gone back to Rahane, who averages 49.44 in Tests with 12 centuries to his name.

KS Bharat retained his place behind the stumps with first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant continuing his recovery from a car crash in December. India will also be without pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who is completing his rehabilitation after undergoing a back operation last month.

Captain Rohit Sharma’s 15-member squad includes six specialist batters and three spin all-rounders — Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. India reached the final of the inaugural WTC in June 2021 but lost by eight wickets to New Zealand in a rain-hit contest. — Agencies

WTC final squad

Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat

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