Team India have announced a Rohit Sharma-led 18-man squad for the postponed Test against England, which will be played between July 1-5 at Edgbaston. KL Rahul, who’ll come straight from leading India’s second-string T20I side against South Africa at home, will be Rohit’s vice-captain and opening partner.
Shubman Gill is the team’s only backup opener following Mayank Agarwal’s mediocre Test stints against Sri Lanka and South Africa and a poor IPL 2022 campaign.
The biggest highlight of the squad is Cheteshwar Pujara’s return. The veteran No. 3 batter was dropped due to his lack of big scores over the last two years. He has now been rewarded for his stunning county stint at Sussex, where he averaged 120 with four centuries (two of them being double-centuries) in just eight innings.
So as I expected, and wanted, Pujara is back in the Test squad. Happy for him.It was unfair to club him with Rahane all along. He looked much better than him all along. twitter.com/BCCI/status/15…
Former vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who was also dropped alongside Pujara for similar reasons, has remained out of the team. The right-hander did well in the Ranji Trophy but suffered a hamstring injury in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) last match of IPL 2022, which has ruled him out of all cricket for at least a few weeks.
Virat Kohli, who led the squad to a 2-1 lead in the series in 2021 before the final game was postponed, is likely to continue to bat at No. 4. Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari give the batting department some depth. Rishabh Pant and KS Bharat will be the two wicketkeepers for the series.
The bowlers and all-rounders are almost the same as they were in the first four Tests of the 2021 tour. Only Ishant Sharma, who was dropped for the Sri Lanka series, and Axar Patel missed out. The left-arm finger spinner is in the squad for the T20Is against South Africa in India and would not have been needed in England for just a solitary match.
India’s squad for England Test
TEST Squad – Rohit Sharma (Capt), KL Rahul (VC), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), R Jadeja, R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohd Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna #ENGvIND
Rohit Sharma (Capt), KL Rahul (VC), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), R Jadeja, R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohd Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav and Prasidh Krishna