Yadav but no Bumrah for India-Aussie Tests

Australia are set for a possible date with the white-ball sensation Suryakumar Yadav in the Test arena after he was selected in India's 17-man squad for the first two games of the eagerly awaited four-match series next month.

Another limited-overs gun Ishan Kishan has also been brought into the squad but there's no place for injured pace bowling ace Jasprit Bumrah, who may also not be fit to play in the final two matches of the series either.

The Border-Gavaskar series, which starts on February 9, will also see the return of India's valuable spinning allrounder Ravindra Jadeja, as long as he's passed fit again after his own injury woes.

Rohit Sharma will lead a powerful side, with Virat Kohli also a spearhead, though the Indian board has named the squad only for the first half of the series and selectors will doubtless re-evaluate after the opening two matches in Nagpur and Delhi.

The absence of Bumrah is a major blow for the hosts. He had hoped to be back in business after a back problem but has been advised to undergo another month's rehabilitation before any decision is made over whether to unleash him in the final two Tests in Dharamsala and Ahmedabad in March.

Jadeja hasn't played any cricket since last August after undergoing knee surgery but looks set, as ever, to be one of the keys to India's success.

The question remains whether the late-blossoming 32-year-old Suryakumar, despite his eye-catching T20 pyrotechnics, will even make the starting XI, so formidable is a top order that, even without the injured Rishabh Pant, can boast Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli and Shreyas Iyer.

Mohammed Shami will lead India's attack, backed by Mohammed Siraj, who made his name on the 20220-21 tour to Australia, with evergreen 36-year-old Ravichandran Ashwin the main spinner, aided by Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav.

India squad for the first two Tests:

Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav.