Mumbai: The national selectors have picked more or less the same squad which helped Team India beat Australia 2-1 away and England 3-1 at home for the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final and five-Test series against England in England.
The jumbo squad of 20 announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday — to account for possible injuries and COVID infections — doesn’t include all-rounder Hardik Pandya and explosive opener Prithvi Shaw.
Pandya returned to action during the IPL after an injury lay-off, while Shaw bounced back to form in domestic cricket and IPL after losing his Test berth in Australia at the start of the year.
While Rishabh Pant is the first-choice wicketkeeper, KL Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha have also been named, subject to fitness clearance. While Rahul was recently diagnosed with appendicitis, Saha was among several players to test COVID positive earlier this week during the IPL, following which the tournament was postponed indefinitely.
India will take on New Zealand in the inaugural WTC final from September 18-23 at Southampton, while the Test series against England will be played in August-September.
Virat Kohli will lead the side, with Ajinkya Rahane being his deputy.
TEAM INDIA SQUAD
Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav.
KL Rahul & Wriddhiman Saha subject to fitness clearance.