India squad for WTC final and England series: Jadeja, Shami, Vihari return; Hardik Pandya misses out

ICC World Test Championship: Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Shami return to Test fold for the inaugural WTC final and the five Tests against England.

Ravindra Jadeja returned to India's Test squad for the WTC final against New Zealand and the five-match Test series versus England.

Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Shami returned to the Indian squad for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand and the subsequent five-Test series in England.

Jadeja, Vihari and Shami suffered injuries during the tour of Australia and had missed out on the home series against England. The five-member selection panel, led by Chetan Sharma, picked a 20-member side through videoconferencing on Friday and went ahead with a ‘tried and tested' team.

There are four standbys as well - Abhimanyu Easwaran, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna and Arzan Nagwaswalla. While Easwaran is a batsman, the other three can double up as net bowlers.

IPL star Avesh Khan, India A’s Abhimanyu Easwaran discuss UK tour  

Provisional selection

The selectors left out Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav - who were part of the team for the home series against England - while K.L. Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha were selected provisionally and will have to clear fitness tests at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru before the squad’s departure for England. While Saha contracted COVID-19 on Tuesday, Rahul underwent appendicitis surgery last week.

When Hardik was included in the Test squad for the England series a couple of months ago, the team management expected his bowling to come in handy, but a shoulder niggle resulted in Hardik not bowling during the IPL. “He was with the team during the home series, but we are told that he is still not ready to bowl. So, the selectors thought of weighing options,” a source in the BCCI said.

Arzan Nagwaswalla, a Parsi in Team India after 28 years  

Shaw ignored, fitness concerns for Bhuvi

Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal - who had good outings in the domestic tournaments - had staked claims for the tour, but selectors did not consider the duo. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, whose fitness woes continue, was also ignored.

The World Test Championship final against New Zealand will be held from June 18 in Southampton followed by the Tests against England from August 4.

The Test series against England will start in Nottingham, followed by matches at the Lord's (August 12 to 16), Leeds (August 25 to 29), The Oval (September 2 to 6) and Manchester (September 10 to 14).

It is believed that after serving a seven-day hard quarantine in Mumbai, the men’s and women’s squads will board the flight to England. The women's team will feature in a one-off Test in Bristol starting June 16, followed by three ODIs and three T20Is from June 27 to July 15.

The board treasurer Arun Dhumal told Sportstar that they are in touch with the England and Wales Cricket Board and the ICC to figure out the final travel plans, keeping the quarantine protocols in mind.

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, Md. 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