IND vs ENG: The Indian squad for the first two Tests against England has been announced, and it features a blend of familiar faces and a surprise debutant.
While experienced campaigners like Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, and R Ashwin lead the charge, the spotlight falls on 22-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Dhruv Jurel’s maiden call-up to the national team.
IND vs ENG: Ishan Kishan’s continued absence raises eyebrows:
The most notable exclusion is that of Ishan Kishan. Despite his impressive performance in Bangladesh in late 2022, the young left-hander has been overlooked once again. This raises questions about his position in the pecking order, especially with KL Rahul being preferred as the primary wicketkeeping option and KS Bharat his backup.
Jurel’s journey from promise to national team:
Jurel, on the other hand, has been rewarded for his consistent performances in the domestic circuit. The Uttar Pradesh player impressed with his stroke-making ability and wicketkeeping skills, catching the eye of the selectors. His inclusion adds depth to the squad’s wicketkeeping options, offering versatility and potential for the future.
Spin quartet bolstered, Shami awaits return:
The spin department boasts of a formidable quartet with Ashwin, Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, and Axar Patel. This bodes well for India, considering the expected turning pitches in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. Meanwhile, the absence of pace spearhead Mohammed Shami is a precautionary measure as he recovers from an ankle injury. Jasprit Bumrah takes over as vice-captain in his absence.
IND vs ENG: Squad composition and key talking points:
- Openers: Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are expected to form the opening pair, with Gill under pressure to cement his spot.
- Middle order: Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and KL Rahul will likely occupy the middle order, hoping to find their respective form and rhythm.
- Spin-heavy attack: The four-pronged spin attack is likely to play a dominant role, with the pitch conditions favoring them.
- Jurel’s opportunity: All eyes will be on Jurel’s debut performance and whether he can grab his chance to impress the selectors.
India’s selection decisions for the first two Tests hint at a focus on experience and proven performers. Jurel’s inclusion, however, adds a touch of freshness and excitement to the squad. The battle between India and England promises to be a thrilling spectacle, with both teams boasting formidable lineups and a deep understanding of the subcontinent conditions.
The first Test kicks off on January 25th in Hyderabad, and all eyes will be on how this exciting India squad fares against their arch-rivals.
DISCLAIMER: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.