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Hardik Pandya gets maiden call in the Indian squad for the Tests against England

Hardik Pandya Indian squad
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selectors today picked the Indian squad for the first two matches of the five-match Test series against England starting November 9. BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke and chief selector MAK Prasad made the announcement in Mumbai after the selection meeting.

While most players from the team that played against New Zealand a couple of weeks ago have been retained, opener Shikhar Dhawan who missed out on the last Test due to an injury has not been named in this team either. In absence of both Dhawan and KL Rahul who again haven’t managed to recover in time Gautam Gambhir has held his place in the squad. What also went in favor of the Delhi skipper is his good run in the Ranji Trophy.

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Karnataka’s top order batsman Karun Nair has also been named in the team along with Murali Vijay, skipper Virat Kohli, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. Rohit Sharma who sustained an injury in the last ODI against New Zealand at Vizag was unavailable for selection either.

Indian pace bowling spearhead Ishant Sharma who missed the three-Test series against the Kiwis as he was recovering from chikungunya makes a comeback in the team and will partner Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav.

Off-spinner Jayant Yadav who was picked for the last Test of the previous series and impressed in the 5th ODI against New Zealand making his debut has also found a place for himself in the team along with the Indian spin twin of ace offie Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

There is also a surprise inclusion in the team, Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya who made his ODI debut in the series against the Kiwis and impressed skipper MS Dhoni with his new ball bowling ability has received his maiden Test call-up. Given his ability with the bat and wicket-taking knack with his seam ups Pandya is considered a utility player by the Indian team management and they are looking to groom him into the all-rounder the team has always been looking for.

Indian squad for the Tests against England:

Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya

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