The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) as well as the tour of England that follows. The all-important summit clash will take place from June 18 to 22 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton and will see India lock horns with New Zealand.
The New Zealand players have already left for the UK (with the exception of Trent Boult who will join later) as they have a two-match Test series against England that precedes the WTC final. India on the other hand, are expected to leave earlier than expected as well due to the fact that the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic breaching the teams’ bio-bubbles.
India name squad without too many surprises
The BCCI’s selection committee led by Chetan Sharma went with a 20-member squad that did not have too many surprises. The likes of Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav returned after missing out on the last series against England due to injuries. KL Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha who are currently unwell have also been named, but their availability is subject to a fitness test.
Notable absentees are Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Prithvi Shaw. While the former did not feature in the series against Australia and England due to fitness concerns, India lack a pace-bowling all-rounder and he was expected by some circles to be picked. It was the same with Bhuvneshwar Kumar who hasn’t played in whites for quite some time now. Shaw on the other hand, has been in terrific form with the bat in the domestic circuit as well as in the IPL and hence, there were expectations that he could be picked.
Apart from the 20 members in the squad, four players will travel as standbys – Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Arzan Nagwaswalla.