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Ishant, Hardik named in India squad for first two Tests against England
Mumbai, January 19, 2021
Seasoned pace bowler Ishant Sharma and all-rounder Hardik Pandya have been included in India's 18-member squad for the first two Tests against England to be played in Chennai next month.
The team, led by Virat Kohli, was picked at a meeting of the All-India Senior Selection Committee on Tuesday, a press release from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said.
Sharma did not play in India's just-concluded Test series against Australia because he was still recovering from a side strain. Pandya had played in the ODI and T20I series on the Australia tour. His last appearance in a Test match was in September 2018 against England at Southampton.
Also included in the squad are Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj, who played major roles in India's win over Australia in the fourth and final Test match, which ended today, while T Natarajan and opener Prithvi Shaw are not part of the team. Spinner Axar Patel has found a place in the squad.
The following is the team: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur
The Committee also picked five net bowlers and five players as standbys.
Net Bowlers: Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, Krishnappa Gowtham, Saurabh Kumar
Standby players: K S Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar, Priyank Panchal
The first Test will be played from February 5-9 and the second from February 13-17, both in Chennai. The third Test will be played from February 24-28 and the fourth and final Test from March 4-8, both at Ahmedabad.