(Photo: Getty Images)
By Harvey Burgess
India have named their squad for the forthcoming five-Test series against England.
There is no place for Rohit Sharma, who has been ruled out of the first two matches due to a thigh injury and he faces an uphill battle to be fit for the remaining three Tests.
Sharma was one of India’s star batsmen in their 3-0 series defeat of New Zealand and it remains to be seen whether he will play any part in the series, a demanding schedule which sees all five Tests take place in less than six weeks.
Further injuries to openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan leaves open the possibility of veteran batsman Gautham Gambhir opening the batting alongside Murali Vijay, as happened in the final Test of the New Zealand series.
Pace bowler Ishant Sharma is back in the squad after recovering from a bout of illness that kept him out of all of India’s previous three Tests.
The 28-year-old may partner spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the bowling attack as England have looked particularly vulnerable against the spin – all but one of the 40 wickets that Bangladesh took over two Tests came from a spin bowler.
The series begins a week today in Rajkot and takes in a further four Tests in Visakhapatnam, Mohail, Mumbai and Chennai.
Squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav.