New Delhi: India’s Test squad for the three-match home series (Gandhi-Mandela Trophy) against South Africa was announced today (September 12). Shubman Gill has been included while opener KL Rahul was dropped. Also missing from the squad is paceman Umesh Yadav.

The BCCI selection panel, headed by MSK Prasad, met in New Delhi to pick the 15-man squad. Virat Kohli continues to lead the side. The series commences on Gandhi Jayanthi day (October 2) in Visakhapatnam. Before the Tests, the two teams play three T20Is from September 15.

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With the out-of-form Rahul axed from the squad, Rohit Sharma is set to open the batting with Mayank Agarwal. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly had backed Rohit as opener. Selection committee chairman Prasad confirmed this by saying, "Want to give Rohit Sharma an opportunity to open the innings in Tests."

It is a big call-up for the 20-year-old Gill, who has been scoring consistently for India A. This is the first time Gill has made it to India Test squad.

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In the recently concluded two-Test series against the West Indies, Rahul failed to score a single half century in the four innings. His highest was 44 and aggregated just 101 runs. The Karnataka right-hander has so far played 36 Tests scoring 2,006 runs.

He has scored 664 runs in his last 30 Test innings, with his only notable score — 149 against England at the Oval last year, coming in a dead fifth rubber.

The selectors also picked the Board President's XI squad to be led by Rohit Sharma. They play South Africa in a three-day warm-up game in Vizianagaram from September 26.

India’s squad for three Tests

Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper),Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill.

In - Shubman Gill

Out - KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav

Board President's XI squad

Rohit Sharma (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, AR Easwaran, Karun Nair, Siddhesh Lad, KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Jalaj Saxena, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Ishan Porel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav.

India-South Africa Test series schedule

1st Test: October 2-6, 9:30 AM IST (Visakhapatnam)

2nd Test: October 10-14, 9:30 AM IST (Pune)

3rd Test: October 19-23, 9:30 AM IST (Ranchi)