Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Ishant Sharma are set to make returns into the Indian cricket team after being named in the 18-member squad for the first two Tests against England in Chennai. The 18-man squad was picked on January 19 (Tuesday) by the newly-formed national selection committee lead by former India pacer Chetan Sharma. Axar Patel has also been included in the squad but Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini, who were part of the squad for the Australia series, have been dropped from the team. Kevin Pietersen Fires Warning to Indian Cricket Team Ahead of England Tests, Asks India To Not Go Overboard With Australia Series Win Celebrations (See Post).
Kohli, who is currently on paternity leave and recently welcomed his newborn, will return as the captain. He was also present in the meeting for picking the squad alongside other selectors – Sunil Joshi, Abey Kuruvilla, Debashish Mohanty and Harvinder Singh, who is currently in Australia with the national team. The squad was picked hours after India beat Australia by three wickets at The Gabba to clinch the series 2-1 and complete consecutive Test series wins in Australia. Ishant Sharma in 18-Member Squad for First 2 Test Matches Against England.
BCCI Announces Squad for First Two Test Matches Against England
TEAM – Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya (VC), KL Rahul, Hardik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel , Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur
– BCCI (@BCCI) January 19, 2021
The committee also named four stand-by players, who will be inducted into the squad in case of injuries or other issues that may force a replacement. The four stand-by players, however, will not be travelling with the original squad and instead will be pulled out from the domestic tournaments when required. The stand-by players are Jharkhand left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, Andhra wicket-keeper KS Bharat, Bengal opener Abhimanya Easwaran and Rajasthan leg-spinner Rahul Chahar.
Four Standby Players and Five Net Bowlers Have Also Been Named
The Committee also picked five net bowlers and five players as standbys.
Net Bowlers: Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, Krishnappa Gowtham, Saurabh Kumar
Standby players: KS Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar, Priyank Panchal#INDvENG
– BCCI (@BCCI) January 19, 2021
Five net bowlers were also announced alongside the 18-member squad. Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, K Gowtham, Saurabh Kumar have been named the net bowlers for the opening two Test matches.
The series is set to begin on February 5 with the opening Test match in Chennai, which will also host the second Test before the series moves to Ahmedabad which will play host for the day-night Test, fourth Test as well as the five T20Is. Pune will be hosting the three-match ODI series.
Main Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, R Ashwin , Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel.
Standbyes: KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Abhimanya Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar.
Net Bowlers: Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, K Gowtham, Saurabh Kumar.
(The above story first appeared on Reportr Door on Jan 19, 2021 07:45 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website reportrdoor.com).