Mohammed Shami recalled for England Test-series; Bhuvneshwar, Wriddhiman remain sidelined
Fast bowler Mohammed Shami has been recalled into the Indian squad for the first Three tests against England but Bhuvneshwar Kumar and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha remained sidelined as BCCI announced an expanded 18-member team for the England Test series.
Shami, who was left out of the one-off Test match against Afghanistan after failing to clear the Yo-Yo test, missed the IPL season because of his personal reasons and had played no cricket ever since.
India’s first-choice wicket-keeper Wriddhiman who suffered a thumb injury was left out after failing to prove his fitness. Dinesh Karthik has been named as replacement wicket-keeper, while promising star Rishab Pant earned a maidan call-up into the Test-side following power-packed IPL season, where he was named the Young player of the tournament.
Bhuvneshwar, who has been India’s prime fast bowler in overseas conditions has been suffering from a back problem and further aggravated his injury by playing in the final ODI against England on Tuesday.
The bowler from Uttar Pradesh whose lethal weapon is to swing the ball both ways has been struggling with his fitness of late and even sat out of the final T20 and the first two ODI matches against England.
But with Bumrah ruled out with a thumb injury, Bhuvi was brought back into the line-up in the decider at Leeds. He however continued to struggle and failed to produce swing, even stopping midway while bowling a number for times.
According to a media release however his condition is being assessed by the BCCI medical team and he may return for the second One-Day match.
It the same for Jasprit Bumrah, whose condition is too being assessed by the cricket board’s medical team. But he unlike Kumar, has been named in the 18-member squad and is expected to make a comeback in the second Test.
Meanwhile, Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav who impressed against England in the T20 series and also became the first spinner to take six wickets in a single ODI against the Three Lions, was picked up as the third spinner in the Test squad.
The spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are two front line spinners.
There were however no surprises in the batting line-up with Rohit Sharma once again failing to make the cut.
Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were the four-specialist batsman, while the only second Indian to make a triple-century Karun Nair and KL Rahul were picked up as the other two batsman.
The 1st Test begins on August 1 and will be played at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
India squad: V Kohli (captain), S Dhawan, KL Rahul, M Vijay, C Pujara, A Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, D Karthik (wk), R Pant (wk), R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, H Pandya, I Sharma, M Shami, Umesh Yadav, J Bumrah, S Thakur.
The selection commitee also picked up the Board President XI team that is scheduled to play a three-day warm-up game against South Africa ‘A’ from July 30, in Belgaum.
Board President’s XI: Ishan Kishan (capt/wicketkeeper), RR Sanjay, AR Eshwaran, Dhruv Shorey, Anmolpreet Singh, Ricky Bhui, Jalaj Saxena, Siddhesh Lad, Mihir Hirwani, DA Jadeja, Avesh Khan, Shivam Mavi, Ishaan Porel, Atith Seth.