The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Saturday (February 10), have announced the squad for the final three Tests of the five-match series against England, with Virat Kohli continuing to stay away from the game for personal reasons. The BCCI has thrown their full support behind the former Indian skipper, asking for his privacy.
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul, the duo who scored valiant half-centuries in Hyderabad but were ruled out of the Visakhapatnam Test, are named in the team. However, their selection in the Playing XI will be subject to clearance from the medical team.
However, the biggest omission has to be Shreyas Iyer, whose back issues have resurfaced. That caused the national selectors to take a cautious approach by keeping him out of the last three Tests. With Iyer missing from the squad, the selectors keep their faith in Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan, who have impressed at the domestic level.
Despite not-so-great performances by KS Bharat, he continues to be a part of the squad, but it remains to be seen if India decide to go ahead with Dhruv Jurel in Rajkot. The young wicket-keeper was impressive in India's A series against England Lions in Ahmedabad but is awaiting an opportunity with the national side. All-rounder Washington Sundar has been retained in the squad as well.
Meanwhile, selectors have put to rest all speculations around Jasprit Bumrah's rest for the Rajkot Test by naming him in the squad but have also thrown Akash Deep into the fast-bowling mix. That would mean Avesh Khan, who warmed the bench in Visakhapatnam, will return to play for Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy.
The series is currently locked at 1-1, with the third Test slated to be played in Rajkot on February 15. The caravan will then move to Ranchi before it concludes in Dharamshala.
India squad for the final three Tests: Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Sarfaraz Khan, Rajat Patidar, Ravindra Jadeja, KS Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep
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