While the aura of India’s heroics down under are yet to simmer down, the national selection committee already have named the squad for the upcoming series against visitors England. While the hosts named their first two Test squads, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced their squad on Wednesday. India will host England for four Tests, five T20Is, and three ODIs starting from February 5.
Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma, Hardik Pandya return to Test squad:
India’s first two Test squads will be bolstered by the return of star players. While Captain Kohli will lead the charge once again, ace pacer Ishant Sharma will also be the highlight of the team. All-rounder Hardik Pandya found his way back into red-ball cricket for the first time since his last Test in 2018.
Ishant who suffered a rib injury during IPL 2020, will return to the format after missing out the series against Australia. KL Rahul who was part of the pack down under had to fly back home with a wrist injury, but he also has been named in the squad.
Jasprit Bumrah will once again lead the pace attack and be accompanied by Ishant, Mohammed Siraj, and Shardul Thakur. Among spinners, Ravi Ashwin, Washington Sundar, and Axar Patel made the cut while Ravindra Jadeja is still under recovery from his niggle in Australia.
ECB have announced their 16-man squad for the first two Tests for their India tour starting from February 5. England who are currently touring Sri Lanka, have rested Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, and Mark Wood. Wicket-keeper Jos Buttler will be available for the opening Test only.
Moen Ali who has been ruled out of the first two Test against Sri Lanka owing to Covid-19 will be in the India tour party. Ollie Pope who is recovering from a dislocated shoulder, will be part of the team too. Dan Lawrence and Ben Foakes might have a great chance to be retained in the team in absence of regulars Bairstow and Buttler. Bairstow, Curran, and Wood will return for the third and fourth Tests in Ahmedabad.
England’s squad: Joe Root, Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.