India keep Vijay but Pandya out for last two Australia tests

Cricket - India v Australia - Second Test cricket match - M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, India - 07/03/17 - India's Ravichandran Ashwin (L) acknowledges the crowd as he celebrates the wicket of Australia's Peter Handscomb. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

(Reuters) - Injured opening batsman Murali Vijay has kept his place in India's squad for the final two tests against Australia, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya drops out with a shoulder problem.

Vijay was forced to miss India's series-levelling win in Bengaluru this week after he sustained a shoulder injury while fielding during the first test in Pune last month.

With batsman Abhinav Mukund failing to impress during the second test in Bengaluru, India will be hoping Vijay recovers in time for the third test in Ranchi next Thursday.

Pandya was the only member to be culled from the 16-man squad chosen at the start of the tour.

Selectors also resisted the urge to call up batsman Rohit Sharma and seamer Mohammed Shami, who have recovered from long-term shoulder and knee injuries respectively but are yet to prove their fitness over the course of a first-class match.

The series is finely poised at 1-1 and will culminate with games at first-time Test venues Ranchi and Dharamsala.

Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Ashwin Ravichandran, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)