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India squad for WTC final and England tour announced; Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari make a comeback

Mumbai, May 7: The All-India Senior Selection Committee has on Friday (May 7) announced a 20-member strong Indian squad for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand and the five-match Test series against England.

The Virat Kohli-led side's first stop will be in Southampton where they face New Zealand to decide the first champion of the Test format. Following their 3-1 win against England at home, India finished as the No. 1 side with 72.2 percentage points and booked their place in the final.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari, both of whom missed the series against England at home after sustaining injuries on the tour of Australia, will be making their comeback to the Test side. Senior pacer Mohammed Shami has also made his comeback to the side after missing the England series due to injury.

While all-rounder Hardik Pandya was not considered for selection as "he is still not in a position to bowl".

The batting line-up comprises openers Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal. While the top and middle-order would be manned by Cheteshwar Pujara, captain Kohli, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and Vihari.

Rishabh Pant is the only wicketkeeper in the squad while Wriddhiman Saha's availability is subject to his fitness. KL Rahul's availability is also subject to fitness. Rahul recently went through surgery after complaining of appendicitis.

In the spin department, Axar Patel has been rewarded following his brilliant debut series against England while senior tweakers R Ashwin and Jadeja are also in the mix along with Washington Sundar. The pace battery - which has been a subject of talk in the past few years - comprises Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd Shami, Mohd Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav.

Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, and Gujarat pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla have been put on stand by.

India's squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd Shami, Mohd Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).

Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla.

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Story first published: Friday, May 7, 2021, 18:28 [IST]
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