England vs India 2018: Indian squad for the last two Tests
There were no major surprises in the squad selected for the final two Tests. Murali Vijay and Kuldeep Yadav have been dropped. Prithvi Shaw and Hanuma Vihari join the squad as their replacement. There is no word on Bhuvaneshwar Kumar so most probably he would not be available for the England series.
This is how the squad would look like for fourth and fifth Test
Openers (KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan)
Prithvi Shaw backed by his superlative performance in domestic circuit gets a call. Kohli is expected to stick with Rahul and Dhawan though, going into the next two Tests. Both the openers have played with purpose in the Trent Bridge and provided India with a solid start. Rahul has been brilliant in the slip cordon as well wherein he snapped seven catches in the third Test.
Middle order (Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Karun Nair)
Hanuma Vihari is the new addition to the squad. A prolific middle-order batsman who has a penchant for playing long innings. He has scored a double century in each of his last 5 Ranji seasons.
Kohli is unlikely to tamper with his now settled middle order. Pujara and Rahane have done their case in the middle order no harm by scoring half-centuries in the Trent Bridge Test.
Wicketkeepers (Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik)
Rishabh was excellent behind the stumps and took seven catches in his debut Test. When he came into bat, he looked calm and composed. This performance will ensure that Pant keeps his place at least for this series.
All-rounder (Hardik Pandya)
Pandya performed appreciably both with the bat as well as the ball in the last Test. He was even in contention for the man of the match award which was eventually given to Kohli. His career-best figures of 5/24 has made the world notice his capability with the ball. He can tonk the ball hard and is a useful batting option down the order.
Ashwin was hampered by a hip injury in the third Test. Fortunately for Kohli, India did not miss his services as pacers did the bulk of the damage.
Ashwin is expected to be fit for the fourth Test. Even if he does not recover in time, Kohli has an able replacement in Jadeja.
Pace Bowlers(Bumrah, Shami, Ishant, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur)
Kohli is expected to stick with the pace trio of Bumrah, Ishant and Shami. Introduction of Bumrah in the last Test has bolstered the pace attack.