Captain Virat Kohli will take part in India’s squad for next month’s first two Tests against England, the country’s cricket board said Tuesday, after he missed three recent matches against Australia to attend the birth of his first child.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has been working on his bowling fitness, and KL Rahul, who had been ruled out of the third and fourth Tests in Australia with a sprained wrist, will also return to the 18-man squad.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel received his maiden Test call-out, while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, an integral part of India’s squad, was left out due to a thumb injury.
Most of the squad for the upcoming Tests took part in India’s stunning win over Australia in Brisbane on Tuesday – the first time the hosts had been defeated at the Gabba since 1988.
The opening Test will begin on February 5 in Chennai.
The second Test will also be held in the eastern Indian city, with the final two slated for Ahmedabad, home of the 10,000-seat Sardar Patel Motera Stadium – the world’s largest cricket stadium.
The Tests will be followed by five Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals.
Ahmedabad will remain host for the T20 games, while Pune will host the ODIs.
It has not yet been decided whether the matches will be played behind closed doors.
Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya, K.L. Rahul, Hardik, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, R. Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur