Fit-again Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Shami are among the 20 members named by Board of Control for Cricket in India for the Test squad to be led by Virat Kohli for the six matches to be played in England over the course of the summer.
The All-India Senior Selection Committee announced the Indian squad for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final which will be played against New Zealand in Southampton and the five-match Test series against England that follows.
Jadeja, Vihari and Shami had all picked up injuries during India’s tour of Australia 2020-’21, also missing in the home series against England and are making a return to the squad after regaining fitness.
England have named a larger than usual squad given the length of the tour and the quarantine requirements in United Kingdom due to Covid-19.
India’s squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla
From the squad that was named for the final two Tests against England, Kuldeep Yadav misses out as the spinner has struggled for form across formats. Axar Patel proved sensational in his debut Test series while R Ashwin and Jadeja were always going to be first-choice when fit. Washington Sundar too finds a place after his impressive outings in Brisbane and Chennai.
Hardik Pandya, though part of the home series against England, did not play in the longest format. He has not bowled regularly in recent times, while Kohli spoke about the importance of his all-round skills in red-ball cricket.
Shardul Thakur too makes a return, after impressing in Australia when called up as a late replacement. He had been released from the Test squad to play in the Vijay Hazare Trophy recently.
The selectors also picked four standby players – Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, and Gujarat’s left-arm pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla.
KL Rahul, who underwent a surgery after being diagnosed with appendicitis recently, and Wriddhiman Saha, who had tested positive for Covid-19 during the recently-suspended IPL, have been included subject to their fitness.
The contingent is expected is expected to depart for England for the twin assignments in the third week of this month, reported PTI.
India's Test matches in England
|18th - 22nd June||WTC Final vs NZ||Southampton|
|4th - 8th August||1st Test vs England||Nottingham|
|12th - 16th August||2nd Test vs England||London (Lord’s)|
|25th - 29th August||3rd Test vs England||Leeds|
|2nd – 6th September||4th Test vs England||London (Oval)|
|10th – 14th September||5th Test vs England||Manchester|
The Indian team is scheduled to play the World Test Championship final against New Zealand at Southampton from June 18-22 before taking on England in a five-Test series. The series will begin at Nottingham (Aug 4-8) and will be followed by matches at Lord’s (August 12-16), Leeds (Aug 25-29), Oval (Sep 2-6) and Manchester (Sep 10-14).
More to follow