The Indian team for the first two Tests of the upcoming five match Test series against England has been picked up by the five national selectors on Wednesday.
With the stupendous performance in the Test series against the Kiwis, the selectors have stuck to the winning combination against England with minor changes to the squad.
The squad is be pretty much the same as what featured against the Kiwis in the three match Test series. Veteran seamer Ishant Sharma has made a comeback after being sidelined with injury and missing out in the NewZealand series. Allrounder Hardik Pandya has been given his maiden call up in the Test squad. Meanwhile Karun Nair has been included as a specialist batsman to beef up the batting.
Indian squad (First Two Tests): Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Gautam Gambhir, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravinder Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Amit Mishra, Saha and Cheteswar Pujara
So let us have a close look at the squad which would feature in the first two Tests against England.
With seasoned opener Shikhar Dhawan nursing an injury, Murali Vijay in all likelihood shall be partnered by veteran opener Gautam Gambhir.
Comeback man Gautam Gambhir looked good at the crease and is in full control whenever he got an opportunity to bat against NZ.
KL Rahul has not yet recovered from his hamstring injury fully. The selectors will hope to receive a good report card about Rahul because the Karnataka opener has become adept at opening in all conditions and built a reputation to face the new ball operators with confidence.
The middle order would once again be led by Virat Kohli who has become the lynchpin of the Indian batting order. Pujara who looked in good touch against the Kiwis would once again look to hold the fort with his solid technique and sound defence. Meanwhile Ajinkya Rahane would add that bit of calming infuence and depth to the middle order.
The pace attack would be bolstered by the return of veteran seamer Ishant Sharma. Meanwhile Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami retain their places and would once again be raring to go against the English. Shami and Yadav were consistently among the wickets all through the Kiwi series.
Ravichandran Ashwin has been India's bowling trump card on sub-continent wickets. Ashwin has cast a web around most of the visiting sides with his subtle variations. He has been simply been phenomenal and run though the batting of most of the visiting sides.
Ashwin has a good partner in leggie Amit Mishra. Mishra adds variety to the attack.
Meanwhile Ravinder Jadeja is likely to compliment the spin attack with his left arm bowling.