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India vs New Zealand Test 2021: Rohit Sharma to skip Tests; Ajinkya Rahane to lead in first Test | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Ajinkya Rahane is set to lead India in the first of the two-Test series against New Zealand later this month. After the selectors decided to give Virat Kohli rest in the first Test in Kanpur, it has been decided on Thursday that Rohit Sharma will also sit out of the entire Test series to manage his workload.
The decision was taken after the selectors met on Thursday. TOI has already reported that four regular Test players Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur are set to miss the Test series.
According to sources, there was a lengthy discussion on the stand-in captain after Kohli had asked for rest in the first Test. There was a proposal to give Rohit the captaincy in the first Test and then give him rest for the second match in Mumbai.
However, after thorough analysis of Rohit’s workload, it was decided that the new full-time T20I captain needed to be given a longer break.
While Rahane’s form has been under the scanner for some time now, TOI understands that the selectors were wary of making wholesale changes and ensure there was a seasoned leader in absence of Kohli and Rohit.
Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal are the two opening options to partner the in-form KL Rahul while Wriddhiman Saha is slated to be the first-choice wicketkeeper.
The middle-order will be manned by Rahane and Hanuma Vihari who had last played a Test in Sydney in January.

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