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Gambhir replaces injured Rahul in India's Test squad

  • Published at 04:09 pm September 28th, 2016
  • Last updated at 04:12 pm September 28th, 2016
Gambhir replaces injured Rahul in India's Test squad
India's in-form opening batsman Lokesh Rahul has been ruled out of the remaining two tests against New Zealand due to a hamstring injury and has been replaced by Gautam Gambhir in the squad, the country's cricket board said on Tuesday. Fast bowler Ishant Sharma will also miss the second test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata after failing to recover from the mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya, which also forced him to sit out of the Kanpur opener. Uncapped Haryana offspinner Jayant Yadav will replace Sharma for the second test of the series, which India lead 1-0. Right-hander Rahul, 24, scored two hundreds and a fifty in four innings against the West Indies in tests and a Twenty20 international recently. He made 32 and 38 in Kanpur and injured his right hamstring while running between the wickets. A BCCI insider said Gambhir was tough to ignore in the current situation given his form and experience. "Gambhir is definitely under consideration because he has been doing extremely well, and even the team management feels that with 12-13 Test matches coming up there needs to be some experience [at the top]," the official said. Gambhir, 34, played his last Test in August 2014, on India's tour to England. He aggregated 25 runs on that tour, from four innings, as India went from a 1-0 lead to losing the five-match series 3-1. That series, too, was a comeback for him, as he was dropped in 2012 and missed all India's Tests in 2013 due to a sharp decline in form. Before that, though, he was one half of India's successful opening partnership with Virender Sehwag. The pair scored 4412 runs, the most by an opening pair for India in Tests. Overall, he has 4046 runs in 56 Tests at 42.58, with nine centuries, and was a regular in the Test team between 2008 and 2012. The left-handed opener, who has score nine test hundreds, was recalled to the Indian squad on the back of his strong form in domestic tournaments.
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