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Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma, Hardik Pandya return as India name squad for first two Tests against England

The Indian selectors led by Chetan Sharma on Tuesday named the squad for the first two Tests against England. Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Ishant Sharma have made their way back into the squad.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: January 19, 2021 19:33 IST
Virat Kohli
Image Source : AP

Virat Kohli

After a long gap of more than two years, Hardik Pandya returns to the Indian Test lineup as he has been named in the 18-man squad for the first two Tests against England which begins from February 5 onwards in Chennai. 

The squad was named on Tuesday by BCCI's new selection committee headed by former cricketer Chetan Sharma along with four other members - Sunil Joshi, Abey Kuruvilla, Debashish Mohanty and Harvinder Singh who are presently in Brisbane.

Hardik last played a Test match for India in the England tour of 2018. Prolonged back injuries have kept him out of the Test squad with captain Virat Kohli clarifying ahead of the Border-Gavaskar series that he can only be included when he can bowl as well. 

The captain too has been included in the lineup after missing out on the last three Tests against Australia owing to paternity leave. Ishant Sharma has also been named after missing the Australia tour owing to BCCI not risking his workload management.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Shami, who injured his forearm in the Adelaide Test, Umesh Yadav, who limped off in the second Test with a calf injury, Hanuma Vihari, who pulled his hamstring in the third Test and Ravindra Jadeja, who fractured his thumb in the SCG Test, continue to recover from their injuries and hence missed the list. 

From the Australian squad, T Natarajan, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw has been dropped. 

The selectors have also named four stand-byes - KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar and Priyank Panchal - who will be introduced into the squad if the first-choice players incur injuries and miss out on the series. The squad also has five net bowlers as well. 

Main squad:

Openers: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal

Middle-order: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul (subject to fitness after first Test)

Fast bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur

Spinners: R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel

Standbyes: KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Abhimanya Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar

Net bowlers: Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, K Gowtham, Saurabh Kumar

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