Mumbai: India’s star batsman Rohit Sharma was sidelined due to an injury while all-rounder Hardik Pandya is the lone new face in the India squad for the first two cricket Tests against England starting from November 9th.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya earned his maiden Test call-up even as senior speedster Ishant Sharma made a comeback after recovering from Chikungunya in the 15-member Indian squad announced today for the first two matches against England starting November 9 in Rajkot.
Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir was retained in the squad after scoring a half century in the Indore Test against New Zealand.
Seasoned opener Gambhir retained his place in the Virat Kohli-led side while Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma made a comeback to the squad after being sidelined due to Chikungunya during the three-match Test series against New Zealand.
While KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were left out due to fitness related issues, batsman Rohit Sharma was also out forced out by a thigh injury which might require surgery.
Karun Nair is the reserve batsman and Jayant Yadav is the fourth spinner in the squad after Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra.
The pace duo of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav retained their places in the side. Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay, on the other hand, were automatic inclusions.
The selection committee chaired by MSK Prasad fielded maximum queries regarding Pandya’s inclusion and he stated that his “all-round abilities” with a sea change in attitude after working under India A coach Rahul Dravid went in his favour.
The first of the five-match Test series against England will be played at Rajkot from November 9 to 13 followed by the second at Visakhapatnam from November 17 to 21.
Indian Team: Virat Kohli (Captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Gautam Gambhir, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Karun Nair, Murli Vijay, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Jayant Yadav.