After days of speculation, the Indian Cricket Board has finally announced the squad for the remaining three Tests against England. The squad announcement was delayed till Saturday (February 10) due to uncertainty over the availability of some top players including Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Currently, the series is tied with both teams winning one match each. The visitors took an early lead with a 28-run win in Hyderabad but the hosts bounced back with a thumping 106-run win in Vizag to level the series 1-1. The third match will be played in Rajkot from February 15, followed by the fourth and fifth Tests in Ranchi and Dharamsala, respectively.
Premier fast bowler Bumrah will continue as Rohit Sharma's deputy for the remainder of the series. Left-arm orthodox bowler Saurabh Kumar has been released from the squad and Bengal's right-arm medium pacer Akash Deep has been included. Visakhapatnam newcomers Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan have been retained.
India Squad for final three Tests: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul*, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja*, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep
Let's take a look at the top three highlights of the Indian squad announcement for the final three Tests against England.
#3. KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja are back
Team India's star duo KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja were present for the series opener but missed the second Test in Visakhapatnam due to quadriceps and hamstring injuries, respectively. The wicketkeeper batter and all-rounder recovered and was named in the 17-man squad. However, the board has clarified that their participation will be subject to clearance from the medical team.
#2. Shreyas Iyer ruled out
Shreyas Iyer is a notable absentee in the Indian squad. It is not sure if the middle-order batter has been ruled out or dropped for the rest of the matches. Iyer had reportedly complained of having issues with his back and groin after the second Test. However, the right-hander's exclusion is not a surprise as he was not able to find the rhythm in the first two Tests. Batting at No. 4, Iyer managed to score just 104 runs in four innings in the ongoing series.
#1. Virat Kohli's absence
There were a lot of speculations on Virat Kohli's availability in the third and fourth Tests. However, the board confirmed that the star batter will miss the entire series. The 35-year-old left the Indian camp at the last minute ahead of the series opener due to personal reasons. He was expected to return after the first two Tests but that is not going to happen. This is the first time in his 13-year Test career that Kohli has missed an entire series.