Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul have been reinstated in India’s squad for the final three Tests against England. However, Virat Kohli will be absent for the remaining matches due to personal reasons, while Shreyas Iyer has not been retained, as announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Kohli's absence marks the first time he will miss an entire Test series at home in his international career, having missed the first two Tests due to personal commitments.
“Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons. The Board fully respects and supports Mr. Kohli’s decision,” stated the BCCI in a released statement on Saturday.
Jadeja and Rahul's inclusion is contingent upon medical clearance, with Jadeja nursing a hamstring injury sustained during the first Test in Hyderabad, and Rahul reporting discomfort in his right quadriceps post the Hyderabad match, which India lost by 28 runs.
Iyer's omission from the squad comes after modest performances in the series, culminating in complaints of groin and lower back stiffness following the Visakhapatnam Test, which India won by 106 runs. Though no specific reasons were provided by BCCI for Iyer's exclusion, his absence paves the way for Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan's continued presence in the squad.
Additionally, left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar and fast bowler Avesh Khan have been overlooked for the 17-member India Test squad.
In the absence of Mohammed Shami due to an ankle injury, Bengal's Akash Deep earns his maiden Test call-up. Deep showcased his prowess during the recent India A series against England Lions, securing 11 wickets at an impressive average.
The ongoing Test series, currently tied at 1-1, is set to resume with the third Test in Rajkot on February 15, followed by matches in Ranchi on February 23 and Dharamsala on March 7.
Rohit Sharma (captain), Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, and Akash Deep.
(With Agency Inputs)