The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced a 20-member Indian squad for June’s ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton. The same squad will then face hosts England in the subsequent five-match Test series in August-September.
The biggest additions in the squad are that of fast bowler Mohammed Shami and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who have been out of action from international cricket for a long time due to their respective injuries. All-rounder Hardik Pandya, opener Prithvi Shaw and seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the major names that are missing from the squad.
Shami last played for India in the Day-Night Test against Australia in Adelaide (December, 2020) after which a broken arm forced him to return home for recovery and recuperation. Jadeja also got injured on the Australian tour, fracturing his thumb in the third Test in Sydney in January this year.
Both players have not played Test cricket for India since their injuries but featured in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 before it got suspended indefinitely due to the Covid-19 crisis in India.
Apart from the above-mentioned duo, the rest of the Indian side remains pretty much the same which beat England 3-1 in the four-match Test series at home in February-March.
The Indian batting department comprises of the usual suspects with even Shubman Gill retaining his place in the squad despite his erratic form in the recent IPL. Rohit Sharma and Gill are India’s first-choice openers with Mayank Agarwal as the backup option.
Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli, Rahane and Hanuma Vihari will form the backbone of the batting lineup in the middle-order with Rishabh Pant essaying the dual role of a batsman and wicketkeeper.
Wriddhiman Saha and KL Rahul will be the reserve wicketkeepers subject to their fitness clearance. The Bengal gloveman contracted coronavirus on May 4 while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2021 while Punjab Kings captain Rahul was diagnosed with acute appendicitis during the tournament.
Report by Chetali S M
Reported on – 07/05/2021