Fast bowler Mohammed Shami has returned to the India squad for the first three Tests of the five-match series against England, the BCCI confirmed on Wednesday, 18 July.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been sidelined by the lower back injury that ruled him out of the first two ODIs of the recently-concluded three-match series against England. He returned in the final ODI on Tuesday, but aggravated the injury.
He is now ruled out of the Test squad for the time being, and BCCI said his condition was "being assessed by the BCCI medical team and a call on his inclusion in the Test squad will be made soon."
In better news for India, Jasprit Bumrah, the paceman who injured his thumb during the T20I series against Ireland, will be available for selection from the second Test.
TEAM NEWS: #TeamIndia for the first three Tests against England announced #ENGvIND. Bhuvneshwar Kumar aggravated a lower back condition in the 3rd ODI. His condition is being assessed & a call on his inclusion in the Test squad will be made soon. pic.twitter.com/lhlF65VRUP— BCCI (@BCCI) July 18, 2018
With Shami returning to the side – he missed out on selection for the Afghanistan Test after failing the mandatory 'yo-yo' fitness test – India will have healthy stock of pacemen to choose from, with all of Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav also included.
Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will have a third spin-bowling partner in Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm wrist-spinner whose superlative performances in the limited-overs series earned him a Test recall.
Rishabh Pant, the 20-year-old wicket-keeper batsman, has received his maiden Test call-up, while Karun Nair, the middle-order batsman from Karnataka who is captaining India A in the ongoing tour of England, has retained his place.
Despite the inclusion of Pant, Dinesh Karthik is expected to take the gloves in the absence of Wriddhiman Saha, who is yet to recover from the thumb injury picked up during the IPL.
Virat Kohli, the captain, returns to lead the side, having been ruled out of the squad for the Afghanistan Test with an injury, while KL Rahul has also been included to bolster the batting options.
Squad: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.
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