India announces surprise squad for final two Tests against England
The Indian Selectors have dropped a surprise bomb for the squad of India's 4th and 5th Test match against England. They have announced an 18-man squad which includes 2 uncapped players.
The series scoreline stands at 2-1 in favour of the hosts after three highly intriguing Test matches. India, who is the No.1 ranked Test side in the world, came back from 2-0 down to win the 3rd Test match at Trent Bridge by 209 runs to keep the series well open and alive.
India was defeated in the first Test match (Edgbaston) by 31 runs and by an innings and 159 runs in the second Test match (Lord's) due to some very poor batting from their specialist batsmen, barring captain Virat Kohli. The team made some obvious and important changes in the playing eleven from the Lord's Test Match and dropped opener Murali Vijay from the squad.
As a direct reaction to Vijay's poor form, he is now dropped from the Test side with youngster Prithvi Shaw, who has made loud noises with his batting performances in the domestic arena, replacing him for the final 2 matches.
The selectors have also dropped chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and brought in the 24-year-old batsman Hanuma Vihari who has been in a very good form in domestic matches for state and India A teams. This is probably the most surprising decision, coming out of nowhere from the selectors.
Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul keep their places in the squad after they gave India very good starts in both the innings in the third Test match against England. They were highly criticised for their display in the earlier matches. The pace department has remained untouched as they have been the brightest light for India in this series.
Prithvi Shaw, just 18, has shown immense talent and maturity till now. He hasscored centuries after centuries in First-class cricket since his debut a year ago. He impressed everyone with his amazing stroke play in England last year and also lead the Indian U19 team to a World Cup victory earlier this year. However, its highly unlikely that he'll get a chance in the 4th Test match.
Seems like the teenager is now ready and raring to go at the International stage.
India’s squad for the fourth and fifth Tests against England: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Hanuma Vihari.
The fourth Test match will take place at The Rose Bowl Stadium, Southampton from 30th August and the fifth and the final match will begin on 7th September at the Kennington Oval, London.