Cricket news: Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya Return In First Two Tests Against England
Hardik Pandya, skipper Virat Kohli, and Ishant Sharma are set to make a comeback in the 4 match test series against England that will commence on February 5 at Chennai.
Indian cricket fans are excited as skipper Virat Kohli is set to return to the Indian test side to face England after having missed out on the last few matches in Australia. The team also features Hardik Pandya, who returns to the side after a long gap of more than two years. The all-rounder is back to the test lineup after having recovered from an injury. The 18-men squad was announced for the first two Tests against England beginning from February 5 in Chennai.
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Hardik’s comeback makes the headline as the fiery hitter last played a test match for India back in 2018 during the tour of England. Captain Virat Kohli had earlier made it clear that Hardik will only be selected once he is ready to bowl too, which his back injury was restricting. The captain who left the team mid-series for the birth of his child, has also been included back in the lineup.
Another comeback player will be Ishant Sharma, who has also been named in the squad for first two tests after missing the Border-Gavaskar Australia tour owing to BCCI’s decision to lend him a break. The new squad announcement comes on the backdrop of India’s historic win at Brisbane. The new squad selection was made on Tuesday by BCCI’s new selection committee headed by former cricketer Chetan Sharma.
Meanwhile, pacers Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari will not be a part of the team due to injury. Shami had injured his forearm in the Adelaide Test, while Umesh limped off in the second test with a calf injury. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is another big name to miss out on the squad as he continues to recover from a fractured thumb from the SCG Test. T Natarajan, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw are other dropped names from the squad that went to Australian.
TEAM – Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya (VC), KL Rahul, Hardik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 19, 2021
KS Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar and Priyank Panchal are the stand-byes named by the selectors who will replace a player from the first team in case they incur an injury. The first test will begin on February 5 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The second match of the four-match series will begin on February 13. The last two matches of the series are slated to happen at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
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