Dhruv Jurel new face in India squad for first two Tests against England; Shami continues to be absent


PTI, Jan 13, 2024, 9:22 AM IST

The selectors on Friday stuck to the tried and tested names while announcing the India team for the first two Tests against England with wicketkeeper-batsman Dhruv Jurel being the lone new face.

Rohit Sharma will lead the 16-man side while Jasprit Bumrah will be his deputy.

Senior pacer Mohammed Shami was not named in the squad as he is continuing his recovery process from an injury that he suffered during the ODI World Cup last year.

Shami was also not a part of the India squad that toured South Africa recently.

Karnataka pacer Prasidh Krishna was also not considered as he also picked up a left quadricep injury during the Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat on this day.

Pace bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur also missed out but left-arm spinner Axar Patel made an expected comeback to the side.

However, the inclusion of Uttar Pradesh player Jurel headlined the selection.

The 22-year-old was a part of India A squad that played two matches against their South African counterparts in December last year.

He had made a 69 in the second match at Benoni and more recently made a 63 for UP against Kerala in a first round group game of the Ranji Trophy at Alappuzha.

Jurel, who had made his First-Class debut last year against Vidarbha, has so far made 790 runs from 15 matches at an average of 46 with a hundred and five fifties in the domestic circuit.

However, KS Bharat could be the first-choice wicketkeeper batter and the selectors have also named KL Rahul for the role.

Rahul had donned the big gloves in the two Test matches against South Africa with a fair amount of success.

But it is unlikely that the Bengaluru-man could continue in the role against England as India are certain to field three spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar, a move that warrants a specialist behind the stumps.

The first Test will be played at Hyderabad from January 25 and the second match will be held at Visakhapatnam from February 2.

India Test squad for the first two Tests against England: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Avesh Khan.

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