Indian cricket team for England 2021: India have announced an 18-member squad for the first two Test matches against England.
The Indian selection committee comprising of Chairman of Selectors Chetan Sharma and his teammates in Sunil Joshi, Abey Kuruvilla, Debashish Mohanty and Harvinder Singh met virtually to announce an 18-member squad for the forthcoming series against England.
Meeting for the first time, the selection committee has announced the squad for the first two Tests of the five-match series.
Regular India captain Virat Kohli, who had missed three Test matches in Australia due to a paternity leave and had met the selectors virtually, will be back leading the side.
Hardik Pandya, who had last played a Test during the tour of England in 2018, has also found a place in the squad. However, it remains unclear if he has been selected as an all-rounder or a specialist batsman, a role he has played for Mumbai Indians and India in the last few months.
Captain Kohli is back at the helm of the Indian Test team, as Mohammed Siraj and Washi get picked for first two Tests against 🏴. The series starts on the 5th of February in Chennai. 🤩@imVkohli @Sundarwashi5#PlayBold #INDvENG #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/NcWJGKUGv4
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) January 19, 2021
Fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who missed the tour of England due to an injury, has made his way back after representing Delhi in the ongoing 12th season of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Indian cricket team for England 2021
As far as an uncapped player is concerned, all-rounder Axar Patel has been included for the first time since playing his last international match during the tour of South Africa in 2018. Playing six matches for Gujarat in the last Ranji Trophy season, the left-arm spinner had picked 27 wickets at an average and strike rate of 22.59 and 58.3 respectively.
With all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja out with a dislocated finger, Patel might well play a similar role against England. Having said that, it won’t be as simple as it sounds after all-rounder Washington Sundar’s heroics in Brisbane.
Among the players who were part of the Indian squad in Australia, opening batsman Prithvi Shaw and fast bowling pair of Navdeep Saini and T. Natarajan haven’t been included for now.
Other than Jadeja, the likes of Hanuma Vihari, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav have missed out due to their respective injuries. Fast bowlers in Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur, both of whom contributed in an Indian victory at the Gabba, have retained their place.
While Ravichandran Ashwin is expected to recover for the first Test, batsman Lokesh Rahul will only be available for the second Test subject to fitness.
India squad for first two England Tests – Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur.
Net Bowlers – Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, Krishnappa Gowtham, Saurabh Kumar.
Standby Players – KS Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar, Priyank Panchal.