The selection of explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant as a reserve keeper in the Indian squad for the first three Tests against England goes on to show that in sport six months is actually quite a lot of time to spring a surprise or so.
Though it is not clear whether he will return to India or stay on in England with the team and undergo rehabilitation at the expense of the BCCI.Moreover, the move to increase the squad strength to 18 has also not gone well with certain sections of the BCCI especially after the physio and the trainer have declared all the selected players fit before the tour. His condition is being assessed by the BCCI medical team and a call on his inclusion will be made soon.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a fitness doubt after he aggravated a lower back injury in the third ODI at Headingley. Wriddhiman Saha, who is recovering from the thumb injury he suffered during IPL 2018, has been dropped from the team.
The tall and lanky fast bowler from Delhi, Ishant Sharma, will be India's crucial bowler in the upcoming Test series against England. The early assessment is not very optimistic according to sources.
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Besides Shami, Bumrah and Shardul; Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav are the other pacers in the squad.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been playing County Championship cricket for Yorkshire, is also included in the squad.
Though skipper Virat Kohli had hinted a possible change in the spin department, the selectors have acted on expected lines by picking Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav, who produced some outstanding spells in the preceding T20 and ODI series against England.
The selectors resisted the temptation of handing out Test selection based on limited-overs performances two matches after captain Virat Kohli had said Kuldeep and fellow wristspinner Yuzvendra Chahal had made a serious case for Test selection. It is perhaps his aggressive batting that helped pip Parthiv Patel. Till past year, he was considered as the one who could replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the limited-overs format when he decides to call it quits.
However, this time he failed to cement his position in the Test side.