Explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has been included as the second choice stumper in the 18-member squad for the first three Tests of the five-match rubber against England by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
While pacer Mohammed Shami has been recalled for the Test series, Pant was rewarded with the Test call-up following a successful run with the willow in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Middle-order batsman Karun Nair has also been re-called to the squad while Rohit Sharma failed to make it. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who is recuperating from a thumb injury, has been included in the squad, but will be available for selection from the second Test onwards based on his fitness, a BCCI statement confirmed.
Meanwhile, fellow paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar has his back injury after featuring in the third One-day International (ODI) against England on Tuesday and was left out of the first three Tests.
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar aggrevated a lower back condition in the third ODI against England. His condition is being assessed by the BCCI medical team and a call on his inclusion in the Test squad will be made soon,” the board said.
India’s squad for first three Tests against England: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.