Rishabh Pant Earns Maiden Call as Selectors Name Squad for First Three Tests Against England

New Delhi: Rishabh Pant is the only fresh face in an 18-man Indian squad named for the first three Tests of the five-match series in England starting on August 1. 20-year old Pant, who is currently in England with the India ‘A’ squad, will serve as back-up keeper to Dinesh Karthik. India’s first choice gloveman Wriddhiman Saha is out with a thumb injury he picked up during the IPL and it remains unclear if he will return for the final two Tests of the series.

Jasprit Bumrah has also been included in the squad though he will only be available for selection from the second Test onwards, as reported earlier by CricketNext. Bumrah had been ruled out of the T20 & ODI series against England after picking up a finger injury in the first T20I in Ireland.

A notable omission from the squad was fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar after he aggravated his sore back in the third ODI at Leeds on Tuesday. He is being assessed by the medical team and the decision on his “inclusion in the Test squad will be made soon” as per the BCCI’s official media release.

Rohit Sharma continues to be omitted from the Test squad and the spot for the spare middle order batsman continues to be with Karun Nair, who was selected ahead of Sharma for India’s last Test against Afghanistan in June. Kuldeep Yadav is the third specialist spinner in the squad behind Test incumbents R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

India’s squad for first three Tests against England: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.

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