SWOT Analysis of India's Test squad versus England
A day after losing the ODI series to England at Headingley, the Indian selectors picked a strong 17-member squad for the first three Tests against England which begins at Edgbaston from the 1st of August.
Following his impressive showing in the white-ball leg of the tour, Kuldeep Yadav found a place as the third spinner with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, but even a bigger talking point was the inclusion of Rishabh Pant, who earned his maiden call-up into the Indian Test setup, as a backup for first choice gloveman Dinesh Karthik.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was not selected for the first three Tests owing to an aggravation of the back injury which kept him out of a large part of the white-ball series while Mohammad Shami has made a return to the Test side after not being included in the one-off Test against Afghanistan in June.
Here's a SWOT analysis of the squad picked for the first three Tests:
The batting. In Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, India can an two out of the three that can give the team the start it is looking for. Virat Kohli may have had a poor series last time around, but he is a much different player this time and he will be hungry to succeed. Cheteshwar Pujara falls in the same bracket as Kohli and will have to be among the runs if India are to do well.
In Ajinkya Rahane, they have a player who has a proven overseas record and the runs from his bat will be crucial this time around.
It isn't often the case that India's bowlers are considered to be one of their strengths, but the fast bowling unit, barring the absence of Bhuvneshwar, does resemble a very competent outfit that can pose serious problems to the English.
How they fare during the course of the series and most importantly, how India try and keep them fit for the whole duration will be key if they are to win their first-ever series on English soil in 11 years.