The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced the Indian squad for the remaining two Tests against England. According to the announcement, Team India has retained the same squad that was picked for the first two matches in the 4-Test series except for Shardul Thakur. Umesh Yadav is likely to replace Shardul Thakur. Thakur is released from the squad so that he could play in the upcoming edition of the Vijay Hazare trophy.

The BCCI selectors on Wednesday announced that they have retained 17 out of the 18 members for the final two Tests against England. BCCI also mentioned that senior fast-bowler Umesh Yadav’s inclusion completely depends on his fitness assessment. The assessment would come before the upcoming day/night Test in Ahmedabad.

BCCI Secretary Jay Shay said in the press release that, “Umesh Yadav will join the team in Ahmedabad and after his fitness assessment will replace Shardul Thakur, who will be released for Vijay Hazare Trophy.”

Meanwhile, KL Rahul, who was ruled out of the Border-Gavaskar series due to his wrist injury has also achieved complete fitness and is eligible to play the third Test. Moreover, young opener Shubman Gill has also been retained in the squad. It should be noted that Gill didn’t take to the field on the fourth and final day of the second Test against England.

Prior to the BCCI announcements, there were rumblings of fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Navdeep Saini also making a return to the squad. The announcement has brought in an apparent clarity that the two players haven’t completely achieved full fitness.

Another setback for India came when all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was also dropped out of the first two Tests due to an injury. Jadeja will not be making a return in the remaining two Tests as well.

Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem who has had an underwhelming season so far has been dropped out from the stand-by list. Now Rahul Chahar and wicket-keeper batsman Kona Srikar Bharat are on the list of standby players. They replace Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran who are cleared to play the Vijay Hazare trophy.

The BCCI selection committee which had a meeting on Wednesday also listed out the 5 net bowlers and 2 standby players. The five net bowlers who will join team India in Ahmedabad are Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, Krishnappa Gowtham and Saurabh Kumar. KS Bharat and Rahul Chahar will take the role of the 2 standby players.

While it is almost certain that ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah will make the return to the Indian squad for the pink-ball test, it should be interesting to see whether all-rounder Hardik Pandya also makes the final 11 or not. Pandya was one of the first players who started practicing with pink ball and his selection depends on whether he is fit for a longer form of cricket or not.

After losing with a massive margin of 227 runs, India bounced back in style and registered their biggest win against England in India. The men in blue defeated England by 317 runs and leveled the 4 Test series 1-1. The two teams will now face each other in a day-night Test in Ahmedabad on February 24. The pink-ball Test will be the second day-night Test in India. A loss in the next two matches could prove deadly for both teams as the seat to the ICC World Test Championship final is at stake.

Also read: After defeating England, India jumps on 2nd position in World Test Championship table

Indian Squad for the remaining Tests against England 

Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.