BCCI announces India's squad for WTC final and England Tests
The BCCI has announced India's squad for the ICC World Test Championship final, starting June 18, and the five-Test series against England. Pace spearhead Mohammed Shami and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja have made a return after recovering from respective injuries. The likes of Hardik Pandya and Prithvi Shaw have missed out on the cut. Here are further details.
India's squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, 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. Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla
Fast bowler Shami has recovered from a fracture that ruled him out of the Australia Test series. Further, Jadeja, who injured his wrist in the SCG Test, has also recuperated. The duo starred in the Indian Premier League 2021. Similarly, middle-order batsman, Hanuma Vihari has also made a comeback after missing the England Test series. He has been playing in the County Championship lately.
Off-spinner Axar Patel, who shattered plenty of records in his debut Test series (against England) has won the trust of selectors. He has been retained as another spinner alongside R Ashwin and Jadeja. Meanwhile, the selectors have also retained all-rounder Washington Sundar. Sundar showcased his propensity to bat in tricky situations Down Under, which will also come in handy in England.
Kuldeep Yadav, who was once deemed as India's number one overseas spinner, has finally lost his Test spot. The chinaman spent the entire Australia tour on the bench, before playing a single Test in the England series at home. His previous Test appearance before that was back in January 2019 (Sydney). Meanwhile, the selectors have also left out all-rounder Hardik and opening-batsman Shaw.
The participation of two players, KL Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha, will be subject to fitness. Rahul recently underwent surgery for acute appendicitis that he suffered during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Although the selectors have named Wriddhiman Saha as the second wicket-keeper, his fitness will be tracked after he was one of the players in the IPL who contracted the novel coronavirus.
After the completion of WTC final in Southampton, the Indian squad will head to Nottingham for the first Test against England from August 4. The Lord's (August 12) and Headingley (August 25) will host the next two Tests. While the fourth Test will be held at the Oval (September 2), the Emirates Old Trafford will play host to the fifth from September 10.