India skipper Virat Kohli will be joining the team for the upcoming four-match Test series against England. As per a report in ESPNcricinfo, BCCI on Tuesday announced the 18-man squad for the first two matches, and apart from the Indian skipper, lanky pacer Ishant Sharma also makes a return to the squad.
Ishant, who was out with a side strain, recently made comeback to competitive cricket at the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and has been in a good rhythm. Kohli, on the other hand, was on paternity leave following the first Test in Adelaide, Australia.
Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya who was not part of India’s Test squad in Australia has also been named in the squad.
KL Rahul, who left Australia after sustaining an injury during the nets, is also included for the Test series, but the Karnataka-batsman will only be available for the second Test depending on his fitness.
Axar Patel made a surprise entry while Hanuma Vihari, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammed Shami have been rested following their injuries.
The Indian squad will enter the bio-bubble on January 27 as both the Tests are scheduled to be held in Chennai. The first match of the series starts from February 5 till 9, and the second encounter will take place from February 13 till 17.
India squad for first two Tests against England: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul (subject to fitness after the first Test), Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel