Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma on Monday managed to retain their places despite their below-par performances in the Test series in West Indies, which India won 2-0.
Incidentally, this was the last meeting of the senior selection committee headed by former India batsman Sandeep Patil after a four-year tenure.
“Thank BCCI for the support, this is our last selection. We are very happy to finish on a positive and happy note. The only sad thing is you lose friends when you become selectors,” Patil said in Mumbai on Monday.
The former India batsman declared that they were never approached by any BCCI official recommending any particular player, an allegation which has always plagued the selectors.
“I am happy to say that in our four years term not a single BCCI official or any stage official of any zone approached the selection committee for recommendation of any player,” he added.
The three-match Test series between New Zealand and India kicks off in Kanpur on September 22.
All-rounder Stuart Binny and fast bowler Shardul Thakur were dropped after the squad was pruned to 15 members from the 17 sent to the West Indies.
Dhawan had made 84 in the opening Test in Antigua before three successive failures saw him being dropped for the fourth and final Test match but he managed to keep his palce.
Rohit was also lucky to retain his place despite struggling to make most of his opportunities in Test cricket as was witnessed during the West Indies tour. He managed only 30 in the final of the Duleep Trophy where he turned out for India Blue.
In the same match, his team mate Cheteshwar Pujara hit an unbeaten 256 while former opener Gautam Gambhir made 94 to continue his good run of scores in the Duleep Trophy but failed to impress the selectors.
Patil said the captain Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble continue to back Rohit, who is yet to justify his inclusion in the Test squad.
“(Rohit) Along with captain and coach and selectors (we decided to retain Rohit). Rohit is a fabulous player, he has immense talent but he hasn’t got a long run in Test cricket, he has been picked for one Test then dropped. The selection committee along with captain and coach have decided they will give ample opportunities to anyone who is picked,” Patil stated.
Talking about Dhawan, Patil stated that: “We want him to come good, not only Shikhar but all the 15 we have selected.”
Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.