India vs England Test: Virat Kohli says visitors will play tough cricket
India skipper Virat Kohli was satisfied with the team. "The squad is pretty settled. I am really excited to be going into a lengthy Test series (of five matches). It is going to be challenging but we're looking forward to it."
The BCCI selection committee, headed by MSK Prasad, has named a jumbo squad of 18 men for the first three Test matches against England, beginning in Birmingham on August 1. Besides, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who aggravated a lower back condition in the third ODI against England, has been kept in limbo, as his condition is being assessed by the medical team and a call on his inclusion will be made soon.
Jasprit Bumrah who has been included in the squad, will be available for selection only from the second Test based on his fitness following a thumb surgery. Prasad has been travelling with the ODI team and, after discussions with skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri here, decided to name the squad only for the first three Tests. There are hardly any surprises in the team, with the expected inclusion of chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav and Dinesh Karthik as wicketkeeper in the absence of an injured Wriddhiman Saha.
India 'A' batsman Rishabh Pant, who got named into India's Test squad, en route his 58-run knock v England Lions on Day Three of the four-day unofficial Test in Worcester yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
But there is one significant inclusion, that of Rishabh Pant as the back-up wicketkeeper. He is already playing for India 'A' against England Lions at Worcester, and has had a good outing. With MS Dhoni's future under the scanner, it won't be surprising if he takes over from the veteran in the near future. India have planned well for the Test series. Of the 18, only four — spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, pacemen Mohammed Shami and Bumrah — are not presently in England.
Kohli was satisfied with the team. "The squad is pretty settled. I am really excited to be going into a lengthy Test series (of five matches). It is going to be challenging but we're looking forward to it. We want to play hard, tough cricket," he said. India will play a warm-up game against Essex at Chelmsford from July 25, before heading to Birmingham for the first Test.
The India squad
Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.
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