Bengaluru: Opening batsman Prithvi Shaw has been ruled out of the ongoing India-Australia four-Test series. Mayank Agarwal has been named as his replacement, BCCI announced on Monday.

Also, the BCCI selectors have called up all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the remaining two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney.

“Opening batsman Prithvi Shaw, who had suffered a left ankle injury while attempting a catch in the practice game against CA XI has been ruled out of the ongoing Test series against Australia. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Mayank Agarwal as his replacement,” BCCI said in a media advisory.

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“The selectors have also added all-rounder Hardik Pandya to India’s squad for the third and fourth Test to be played in Melbourne and Sydney respectively,” it added.

Karnataka’s Mayank was included for the two-Test home series against the West Indies. However, he did not get a chance and was not considered for the Australia tour. Now, he has been recalled due to Prithvi’s injury. On Monday, he scored a half century for Karnataka against Gujarat in Ranji Trophy. The match ended in a draw.

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Pandya, who played for Baroda against Mumbai in Ranji Trophy, took seven wickets in the match. He also scored 73. He was sidelined due to back injury which he sustained during Asia Cup in September.

While Prithvi's absence will hurt India, Mayank's inclusion could boost the side. Regular openers KL Rahul (2, 44, 2, 0) and Murali Vijay (11, 18, 0, 20) have struggled so far in the series and Mayank could make his debut in Melbourne. Also, this will be a big opportunity for Mayank to show that he belongs to the top-level after amassing runs at the domestic level.

In eight Tests this year, Vijay has not managed a half century against a major Test nation. The only big contribution from him in 2018 was a century against Afghanistan in their Test debut in June in Bengaluru. He was dropped midway through the England series but was recalled for Australia trip due to his good form in the English county championship.

Rahul too has been out of form. He has failed to be consistent. In 2018, he has one half century (against Afghanistan) and one hundred (versus England) in 12 Tests. After going nine innings without a fifty in the England series, he saved his spot with a superb 149 in the final innings of the tour at The Oval in September.

Pandya's return is also good news. He will lend balance to the team. So far, India have missed an all-rounder and Kohli too had mentioned about that before the start of the four-Test rubber.

"Losing the all-rounder obviously has an impact. I mean every side would like to have a fast-bowling all-rounder, which we don't have right now with Hardik (Pandya) injured. That obviously is a great luxury to have for any side," Kohli had said on December 5, on the eve of the first Test in Adelaide.

India won the first Test by 31 runs. In the ongoing second game in Perth, the visitors need 175 to win on the final day on Tuesday. They have five wickets in hand.

The third Test is in Melbourne from December 26 while the fourth and final game of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be played in Sydney from January 3.

India’s squad for the 3rd and 4th Tests against Australia

Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Parthiv Patel (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal