Pant earns maiden call-up to Indian Test team..

Florence Fletcher
July 20, 2018

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced an 18-member Indian squad for the first three Tests against England, including uncapped Rishab Pant.

Meanwhile, fellow paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar has his back injury after featuring in the third One-day International (ODI) against England on Tuesday and was left out of the first three Tests.

Bhuvneshwar aggravated a lower back condition during the third ODI against England in Leeds.

"His condition is being assessed by the BCCI medical team and a call on his inclusion in the Test squad will be made soon", said the BCCI in a statement.

Bhuvneshwar was India's best bowler on the 2014 tour of England, taking 19 wickets at 26.63. The early assessment is not very optimistic according to sources.

The hard-hitting left-hander, who has played four T20 Internationals, is now playing the one-off unofficial Test against England Lions at Worcester.

The list also includes pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who will only be available from second Test onwards, due to an injury picked up during the IPL.The pace department, otherwise, has experienced Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav alongwith Mumbai youngster Shardul Thakur.

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Kohli would have been aware of the injury concerns to both his limited-overs strike bowlers but put up a courageous face on Tuesday, when asked how ready India were for the Test series.

It wasn't all doom and gloom, however.

Apart from him, many changes have been made to the squad. Uncapped Shardul Thakur retains his place in the Test squad.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been playing County Championship cricket for Yorkshire, is also included in the squad.

The opener, who was dropped after playing the first two Tests against South Africa, was earlier not named in the squad for the one-off game against Afghanistan. India will be going into the Test series with 2 wicket-keepers as selectors have included Pant alongside Dinesh Karthik. "That's up to me I suppose, go back to Surrey and keep trying to churn them out". Pant helped his own case with an unbeaten 67 in a successful chase of 321 against West Indies A in Taunton.

India is scheduled to play five Tests, with the squad for the last two matches to be named later.

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