Shaw, Vihari come in for Vijay, Kuldeep

Shaw, Vihari come in for Vijay, Kuldeep

Prithvi Shaw. PTI

Gifted teenager Prithvi Shaw on Wednesday earned a call-up for the final two Tests against England while the All India Selection Committee also sprang a major surprise in naming Andhra batsman Hanuma Vihari in the 18-member squad.

Muraji Vijay, who after getting a pair in second Test at Lord’s was dropped for the third game, and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who faired badly in the same Test, received the axe. 

Vijay plundered a century against Afghanistan in the one-off Test just before the England tour but he had wretched run in South Africa and here in England as well. In the first Test at Birmingham, the Tamil Nadu managed scores of 20 and 6 and in the three Tests he played in South Africa, he posted three single digit scores with a highest score of 46.

Kuldeep’s axing too doesn’t come as a surprise because the next two Tests — at Southampton (August 30-September 3) and The Oval (Sept 7-11) — are expected to have pace friendly tracks. Although R Ashwin, hit by a groin strain, struggled to bowl in the second Test, head coach Ravi Shastri was confident the offie would recover in time for the fourth Test.    

Although the 24-year-old Vihari has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit, his inclusion is quite baffling considering the team has an extra batsman in Karun Nair who has not even batted in the nets sessions.    

The squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Hanuma Vihari.