The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the squad for the first two Tests against England, which will be played at Hyderabad (January 25 - 29) and Vizag (February 2 - 6).
Whilst all eyes were on how the wicketkeeping stable would look, the squad includes 22-year-old wicketkeeper batter Dhruv Jurel, who plays for Uttar Pradesh in the domestic circuit. It’s understood that Jurel made the squad in place of Ishan Kishan, who still isn't available for selection.
Along with KL Rahul and KS Bharat, he is the third wicketkeeper in the squad. Jurel boasts a batting average of 46.67 at the first-class level and bats in the middle order for UP.
Apart from the three wicket-keepers, the 16-member squad also has four spinners - R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav. Meanwhile, Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat failed to make the cut for the Test series at home, and Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan were selected as the pacers in the team along with vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.
Meanwhile, no updates have been given by the BCCI secretary on Mohammed Shami, who is currently out of the team due to an injury and hasn't played any competitive cricket since the World Cup final on November 19. Shami, earlier in the week, stated that he would definitely make a 'comeback' in the England series.
Prasidh Krishna, who recently made his Test debut in South Africa, sustained a quadriceps injury on day one of Karnataka's second-round Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat and wasn't available for selection. Fast-bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur has also been left out.
The squad for the remaining three Tests will be announced in due course.
India squad (for first two Tests) - Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Avesh Khan.