India are gearing up to face England in a five-match Test series and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the team for the first three matches. Virat Kohli, who missed the one-off Test match against Afghanistan, returns to lead the side.
Pacer Mohammed Shami, who cleared the Yo-Yo test in his second-attempt, was included in the squad after he cleared it in the second attempt. Dinesh Karthik replaced the injured Wriddhiman Saha as the first-choice wicketkeeper. Saha's exclusion also allowed Rishabh Pant to earn a place in the Indian team.
India in England
India have played 17 Test series against England in England. The visitors won only thrice 1971 (1-0), 1986 (2-0), 2007 (1-0) and drew 1-1 in 2002. The last time India toured England (2014), they lost 1-3, despite hammering the hosts by 95-runs in the second Test at Lord’s.
While Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma have toured England twice (2011 & 2014) Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami were part of the Test squad in 2014.
Dinesh Karthik, on the other hand, was part of the triumphant 2007 side that won the three-match series 1-0 under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid. Karthik had featured as a pure batsman while MS Dhoni was the wicketkeeper.
|Virat Kohli (c)||10||134||13.4||39||0||0|
|Ajinkya Rahane (vc)||10||299||33.22||103||1||2|
|Player||Innings||Wickets||Best figures||5 wicket hauls|
While Karun Nair replaced Rohit Sharma in the squad, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja retained their spots.
Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav was picked as the third spinner after his impressive show against England in the limited overs. Jasprit Bumrah, who had missed out on the limited-overs leg, was included in the side and will be up for selection from the second Test match, based on his availability.
The BCCI was assessing pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness and will decide on his inclusion in the Test squad soon. Kumar had aggravated a stiff back in the third One-Day International against England.
KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Shardul Thakur feature in the Test squad on the English tour for the first time.