The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), as expected, has rewarded Kuldeep Yadav for his consistent performances in limited-overs cricket and named him in India's 18-member squad for the first three Tests of the England series.
Yadav, who was in the Indian squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistan, retained his place for the series against England.
Jasprit Bumrah, who impressed in his maiden Test series against South Africa, has not made the cut for the first Test after the thumb injury which he suffered during India's first T20I against Ireland. He will be available for inclusion from the second Test. Uncapped Shardul Thakur retains his place in the Test squad.
As per the release, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who aggravated a lower back condition in the third ODI against England has not been mentioned in the Test squad for England. His condition is being assessed by the BCCI medical team and a call on his inclusion will be made soon.
Regular wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who is still recovering from a thumb injury picked up in the IPL, has not been named in the Test squad.
Saha's absence has given Dinesh Karthik a spot in the Test squad along with Rishabh Pant. While Karthik was also named in the Indian squad for the South African series after Saha suffered injury, the Tamil Nadu batsman didn't feature in the playing eleven. Karthik also featured in India's last Test against Afghanistan but was run out for 4.
Test specialists Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have all been retained as Virat Kohli and Co look to win their first Test series in England since 2007.
There will be a three-way battle between KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay for the two opening slots. Given Rahul's rich vein of form, there are suggestions that he may bat at No 3, which puts Pujara under a lot of pressure. What will work in his favour is his experience of playing county cricket, though the lack of runs may have affected his confidence.
While Mohammed Shami missed out on the Afghanistan Test after his failure to pass the Yo-Yo test, he has been included in the England squad after clearing the test in his second attempt. He may get a look-in in the first Test itself.
Karun Nair, who is captaining the India A which is playing in UK currently, has trumped Rohit Sharma and might be the reserve batsman in the squad.
India, having clinched the T20I series and lost the ODI series 2-1, will take on England in the first Test at of the tour on 1 August at Birmingham. The other four Tests will be played at Lord's, Trent Bridge, The Rose Bowl and Kennington Oval respectively.
Virat Kohli, who missed out on the Afghanistan Test due to injury, returns to lead the side for the five-match series against England.
Test squad(for first three matches): Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.
The Committee also selected the Board President XI team that is scheduled to play a three-day warm-up game against South Africa ‘A’ in Belgaum from 30 July.
BP XI for warm-up fixture against South Africa ‘A’: Ishan Kishan (C & WK), RR Sanjay, AR Eshwaran, Dhruv Shorey, Anmolpreet Singh, Ricky Bhui, Jalaj Saxena, Siddhesh Lad, Mihir Hirwani, DA Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Shivam Mavi, Ishaan Porel, Atith Seth.
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Clarke admitted that the Australian Test captain needed to be held to a high standard, but he said the team would end up with few options if it has unrealistic expectations.
The major names to be released are out of form all-rounder Hardik Pandya and dashing keeper batter Ishan Kishan
Karthik missed the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament which Tamil Nadu won in New Delhi on Monday owing to an injury while Washington Sundar has been out of action since the tour of England earlier this year and was undergoing rehabilitation at the NCA in Bengaluru.