India have roped in Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav as replacements for Washington Sundar, Avesh Khan (reserve) and Shubman Gill for the tour of England, the Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed on Monday (July 26). The two batters featured in the first T20I against Sri Lanka on Sunday and there's no update on when they will fly to England. The remaining two T20Is of the three-match series will be played on July 27 and 29.
It is understood that the team management is impressed with Shaw and Suryakumar's current form, but with quarantine rules in place, it's highly unlikely that the two would make it in time for the first Test despite bubble to bubble transfer from Colombo to Nottingham.
Shaw last played a Test against Australia in December 2020. The dashing opener made 0 and 4 as India suffered an embarrassing defeat in Adelaide. Shaw then had to give up his spot to his Under-19 teammate Shubman Gill, and was later also dropped for the home series against England earlier this year. Shaw came back, worked on his game and has been in impeccable form since then.
Meanwhile, Suryakumar made his international debut in March 2021 and is quickly becoming a regular member of India's white-ball unit. The right-hander from Mumbai already has three fifties in six international innings. Suryakumar has scored 5326 runs in 77 first-class games at an average of 44.01. In the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy, the 30-year-old made 508 runs in 10 innings at an average of 56.44 with two hundreds and two fifties.
Apart from the two, Abhimanyu Easwaran too has been added to the main squad. Despite losing Gill, India have four openers - Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Easwaran and Shaw - in their squad. They also have KL Rahul but the Karnataka batsman is expected to bat in the middle-order. Rahul recently scored a century in the three-day practice match against County XI.
The release further stated: "Washington had taken an injection on his right-hand bowling finger. However, his recovery will take longer than expected and he is not bowling-fit. Avesh suffered a blow to his left thumb on Day 1 of the warm-up game. He was taken for an X-Ray and the result confirmed a fracture.
"Gill sustained a developing stress reaction on his left lower leg (shin) during the World Test Championship final. This was confirmed via an MRI scan. He is ruled out of the tour and has returned back to India."
There were reports that Jayant Yadav was also supposed to go to the UK as Washington's replacement but it was learnt that he won't be required as of now. Similarly, Devdutt Padikkal who has been on team management's radar wasn't sent as it was felt that he needs to play at least one more season of red-ball cricket.
The first of the five Tests will be played at Trent Bridge from August 4.
Squad: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav.
Standby players: Prasidh Krishna, Arzan Nagwaswalla.