Pant and Kuldeep named in the Test squad

Rishabh Pant and left-arm legspinner Kuldeep Yadav have been named in India’s 18-man squad for the first three Tests.

While Rohit Sharma couldn’t fix a spot in the Indian Test side after playing two Tests in South Africa earlier year, Karun Nair and pacer Mohammed Shami have been roped in for the five-match series against England.

Mohammed Shami has been included in the squad after clearing the yo-yo test which he had failed to qualify for the one-off Afganistan Test.

Jasprit Bumrah will be available from the second Test onwards as he is recovering from a thumb injury.

While Bumrah missed the ODI series, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who “aggravated a lower back condition” during the third ODI against England on Tuesday, will undergo tests under the supervision of BCCI medical team and a decision on his inclusion will be made soon, a BCCI release asserted.

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Uncapped bowler Shardul Thakur also found a place in the side after playing in the third ODI.

While inclusion of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav were expected in the pace attack, Pant’s maiden Test call-up has turned heads.

R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were also expected picks in the spin department. Allrounder Hardik Pandya and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik will complete the lower-middle order slots for the team India.

Test squad Virat Kohli (capt), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-capt), Cheteshwar Pujara, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav,  Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur