The Indian cricket team has revealed its squad for the initial two Test matches against England, making noteworthy selections and exclusions. The team has opted for a spin-heavy strategy, welcoming back Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel.
Pacer Mohammed Shami is absent due to an ongoing recovery from an ankle injury, with Dhruv Jurel earning his maiden call-up. Here are the key takeaways from the squad announcement.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill’s Hunger: Both Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill will be eager to make an impact. Jaiswal, after a less-than-impressive performance in South Africa, faces a crucial series. Gill, having struggled in recent Test innings, aims to regain his form.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s Responsibilities: Rohit Sharma, despite a mixed outing in South Africa, holds the key as a senior batsman. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli, in solid touch, remains India’s linchpin. Rohit seeks to build on his past home Test success, while Kohli looks to continue his fine form.
Crucial Time for Shreyas Iyer: Shreyas Iyer aims to move past his challenging stint in South Africa. The talented batter showcased promise with a 48-run knock in Ranji Trophy, indicating a potential return to form.
Three Wicketkeepers and KL Rahul’s Role: India has opted for three wicketkeepers, with KL Rahul set to play a crucial role in the absence of Rishabh Pant. KS Bharat is the second-choice keeper, but the focus is on uncapped Jurel, boasting an impressive average of 46.37 in First-Class cricket.
Spin-Heavy Left-Arm Attack: Expecting a spin-dominated playing XI, India has a formidable lineup with three left-arm spinners—Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Kuldeep Yadav—joining forces with Ravichandran Ashwin. The spin-heavy strategy aims to put pressure on the English side.
Bumrah and Siraj Lead the Pace Attack: Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj headline India’s pace attack, supported by uncapped Avesh Khan, who retains his spot from the Proteas series. Mukesh Kumar voices the attack, with no place for Prasidh Krishna, who is recovering from an injury.
India’s Test Squad and Predicted Playing XI: The squad comprises Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (vice-capt), and Avesh Khan. The predicted playing XI features Rohit (c), Shubman, Yashasvi, Kohli, Shreyas, Rahul (wk), Jadeja, Ashwin, Kuldeep, Siraj, and Bumrah.