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Published On: Wed, Nov 2nd, 2016

England Tests; Gautam Gambhir retained, Hardik Pandya gets maiden call

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543307-india-squad-2nd-test-ptiNEW DELHI : BCCI announce squad for first two Tests in the 5-match series against England.KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, who got injured during the India-New Zealand series, were not included in the 15-man squad probably because of fitness issues.

Chief selector MSK Prasad reportedly said that even if there were regular openers they would have still preferred Gautam Gambhir.Rohit Sharma, who suffered an injury during the ODI series against the Kiwis also missed out due to thigh strain.

Squad for England Tests: Kohli, Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Rahane, Saha, Ashwin, Jadeja, Mishra, Shami, Umesh, Ishant, K Nair, Pandya, J Yadav.Ishant was ruled out of the New Zealand series after failing to recover from the mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya but has proved his fitness by bowling extensively in domestic Ranji Trophy matches.

The 23-year-old Pandya, who bowls medium pace and is an useful lower-order batsman, made his 50-over debut for India in the series against New Zealand and has now been fast-tracked to the test squad.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will lead India`s spin attack against the English batsmen, who had a torrid time in their drawn two-test series in Bangladesh recently.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra and off-spinner Jayant Yadav are the other slow bowlers in the squad.

The first two matches will be played at Rajkot (Nov. 9-13), Visakapatnam (Nov. 17-21).After obtaining a clean sweep three-Test series against New Zealand, India will play a five Test rubber at home after 30 years.

The last time they did so was against Imran Khan’s Pakistan in 1987, the last Test of which is still remembered for Sunil Gavaskar’s route to an incredible 96, against spinners of the quality of Iqbal Qasim and Tauseef Ahmed.

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