The Indian Test squad that was selected for the series against New Zealand has attracted a lot of attention, and several of the selectors’ decisions have been scrutinised. Virat Kohli will miss the opening Test against the Kiwis, while Rohit Sharma will be out for the entire series. The Indian cricket squad will be led by Ajinkya Rahane in the opening Test match against the Black Caps. Apart from Sharma, the Test series will also be skipped by Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, and Rishabh Pant.

Hanuma Vihari has been left out of the Test team, but Shreyas Iyer has been called up. Iyer has yet to appear in a single Test match for India. In the middle order, Shreyas Iyer is available as a backup in red-ball cricket. Hanuma Vihari and Prithvi Shaw have been flown to South Africa with the Indian A-Team to familiarise themselves with the conditions there ahead of India’s three-match Test series against the Proteas in December.

According to a source, India’s head coach, Rahul Dravid, wants shadow A trips to take place before the country’s away tours. And it was for this reason that Vihari and Shaw were sent to South Africa. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, according to the source, can also be used as batting options.

“It’s worth remembering that before every big away tour, Dravid campaigned for shadow ‘A’ tours. In any case, a larger team will be in South Africa. This gives Vihari and Prithvi time to adjust to the new environment, and if they perform well, they will be named to the Test team in South Africa. In any case, expert batters were not required in India until the seventh position. “Ravindra Jadeja can bat up the order, while R Ashwin has also proven to be effective on Indian pitches,” the insider said.