India selectors have announced a 15 man squad for the upcoming five-match Test series against England which begins in Rajkot on November 9. The Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir, who made a comeback to Test Team after two years against New Zealand was expectedly retained in the squad as an opener. KL Rahul is yet to recover fully from the hamstring injury he suffrered while playing against the Kiwis during the Tests . So , Gambhir will now open with Murali Vijay as Shikhar Dhawan is overlooked due to poor form .The surprise choice was that of all- rounder Hardik Pandya as Rohit Sharma’s replacement who is battling an injury.
Karun Nair and off-spinner Jayant Yadav also find a place in the 15-man squad. Out-of-form opener Shikhar Dhawan lost his place in the team while pacer Ishant Sharma returned from illness. Hardik Pandy a has been picked for the first time in Test squad. He made his ODI debut for India in the recently concluded New Zealand series which India won 3-2.
The Test team will be led by Virat Kohli while Ajinkya Rahane will be his deputy. Cheteshwar Pujarawill bat at the crucial number three slot . Wriddhiman Saha will be the wicket-keeper. The spin will be handled by the wily duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Amit Mishra has been picked as the third spinner while Jayant was also picked as the fourth spinner. India’s most experianced seamer Ishant Sharma returns after battling chickengunya which ruled him out of the New Zealand. He will be assisted by Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav.
India squad for first two Tests against England are as follows :
Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane ( vice- captain) , Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Karun Nair, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Shamra