Hardik out; Jadeja, Bumrah picked for WTC final; England Tests

Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami made their comebacks to the Indian Test squad, while Hardik Pandya was left out for the ICC World Test Championship final and the Test tour of England, the BCCI announced on Friday.

Jadeja missed the four-Test series against England because of injury, while Bumrah missed the fourth and final Test after he took a break for ‘personal reasons’. Pacer Mohammed Shami also missed the last three Tests because of injury.

Hanuma Vihari was also not a part of the England Tests because of injury he suffered in Australia.

The big surprise was Hardik being left out of the squad. He was unable to bowl in the seven matches of IPL 2021, which was suspended indefinitely, because of a ‘shoulder niggle’.

Kuldeep Yadav and Navdeep Saini were also not picked.

Wicketkeepers KL Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha’s inclusion will be subject to fitness clearance. Rahul recently underwent surgery after being hospitalised for acute appendicitis, while Saha recently tested positive for COVID-19 during the IPL.

Prasidh Krishna is among the standby players along with fellow pacer Avesh Khan and Bengal batsman Abhimanyu Easwaran. Gujarat’s left-arm pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla was a surprise pick in the standby list. The 23-year-old has taken 62 wickets in 16 first class games, with four five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul.

The ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand will be played in Southampton from June 18 to 22. It will will be followed by India’s tour of England comprising of five Tests matches in August-September.

India’s squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (w/k), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav.

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