The Board of Control for Cricket in India has announced a 15-man squad for the first two Test matches against England. Rohit Sharma misses out due to an injury, while Hardik Pandya is the surprise inclusion in the squad. Karun Nair has also made the cut. The duo has not played a single Test match in their international career.
Ishant Sharma, who missed the New Zealand Test series due to chikungunya, has also made a comeback along with players, who were rested for the ODI contest, including R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami.
The above mentioned players are going to be of utmost importance with the ball in their hand against the English batsmen in the series, and Ishant's addition will make the pace unit even more formidable. Umesh Yadav might have to give his place to Ishant Sharma in the starting eleven.
With Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul's fitness still a concern, the selectors have picked Gautam Gambhir once again for the opener's slot. The left-hander has been impressive in the domestic circuit for India, and will open the innings alongside Murali Vijay. The left-hander will hope to make this chance count even more after scoring 29 and 50 runs in the third Test match against New Zealand last month.
Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane will shoulder the responsibility in the middle order for India while wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha will hope to be amongst the runs as well.
One look at the complete squad, and India look a formidable side, with their bases covered in all departments. After defeating New Zealand 3-0 in the Test series, Kohli and his men will be keen to continue that impressive form against England, who are aware of the need to take their game to another level after losing their last Test match to Bangladesh.
India will host England for a five-Test series, with the first match set to take shape at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot from November 9.
India squad: Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c) , Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.