Ravindra Jadeja returns as India announce squad for World Test Championship final and England Tests
- The BCCI on Friday picked a strong 20-member squad for India's tour of England which starts next month.
The BCCI on Friday picked a strong 20-member squad for India's tour of England which starts next month. India will travel to England for a four-month long tour, which will begin with the World Test Championship final against New Zealand on June 18, before facing the hosts in a five-Test series.
The 20-member squad marks the return of star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and batsman Hanuma Vihari, who, due to their respective injuries had to miss the four-Test series against England at home. Besides, the BCCI has also picked four stand-by players in Bengal batsman Abhimanyu Easwaran, fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Arzan Nagwaswalla.
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked the Indian squad for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final and the five-match Test series against England," the BCCI said in a statement.
"Team India’s first stop will be in Southampton where they play New Zealand to decide the first champion of the Test format. Following their 3-1 win against England at home, India finished as the No. 1 side with 72.2 percentage points and booked their place in the final."
Jadeja sustained a finger injury during the third Test against Australia in Sydney in January this year and was subsequently ruled out for both Test and limited-overs leg of the India-England series. He returned to action in the IPL 2021 for the Chennai Super Kings and by the time the tournament was suspended indefinitely, the all-rounder had scored 131 runs and taken six wickets from seven matches, including 3/13 against Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Vihari had pulled his hamstring in Sydney, which meant that like Jadeja, he took wasn't fit for the home Tests against England. Vihari played the Vijay Hazare Trophy but without much success - his 65 against Vidarbha being his only double-digit score in six innings for Andhra. He then went to England to play County cricket for Warwickshire, producing scores of 0 and 8 against Nottinghamshire, 32 and 52 against Essex and 8 and 0 against Durham.
The long tour will also see Mohammed Shami return to action for India. Shami too was injured as early as the Adelaide Test and missed the next four months before appearing in full fitness for the Punjab Kings in the IPL, where he troubled his India captain Kohli in a fiery opening spell.
Surprisingly, there was no place for youngster Prithvi Shaw in a squad already comprising three opening batsmen in Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal. KL Rahul has also been named part of the squad but his availability will depend on how he recovers following the surgery for acute appendicitis. Ever since he was sidelined from the Adelaide Test against Australia, Shaw has been in rollicking form, scoring over 800 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy - becoming the first batsman to do so - and then setting the IPL on fire, scoring 308 runs from eight matches with two half-centuries.
There was also no place for all-rounder Hardik Pandya and wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav either, with Axar Patel being named as the third spinner after his heroics in the home series against England.
Here is the full India Test 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, Md. 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