Jan. 19 (Reuters) – Indian regular skipper Virat Kohli will return to the squad for next month’s four-test series against England after the country’s Cricket Council (BCCI) nominates the squad for the first two matches in Chennai.
Kohli had returned to India to witness the birth of his daughter after the first loss to Australia, leaving behind a deflated team that had been fought for 36 in Adelaide – their lowest score in 88 years of testing cricket. Replacement skipper Ajinkya Rahane of India equalized the series in Melbourne and drew in Sydney before winning in Brisbane to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy on Tuesday. Bowler Ishant Sharma, who missed the Australian tour with secondary tension, is also back in the squad to face England.
Drummer KL Rahul, who injured his wrist and did not play in Australia, is also returning to the squad alongside versatile Hardik Pandya.
Ravichandran Ashwin and paceman Jasprit Bumrah, who missed the series decider in Brisbane with injuries, are also included in the 18-man squad.
Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, who were injured during the Australia tour, were all left out for the first two matches, while opener Prithvi Shaw is dropped.
The first test is scheduled for February 5-9, followed by the second from February 13-17, with both games being played in Chennai.
The third and fourth tests will take place in Ahmedabad.
Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket guard), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket guard), R Ashwin , Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur