Indian Test squad for the upcoming series against England has been announced on Wednesday. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) convened the national selection committee meeting to decide the fate of cricketers. Batsman Gautam Gambhir has been retained for the first two Test matches. All-rounder Hardik Pandya has also been called for the first time in the Test side. Openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan have been ruled out due to injury. Rohit Sharma will also miss the first two Test matches.

Chief Selector MSK Prasad informed that Rohit Sharma had a bad injury and might require a surgery.  Ishant Sharma, who couldn’t play against New Zealand as he was suffering from Chikungunya, has also been recalled.

Gautam Gambhir was recalled in the national side during the Test series against New Zealand. He was called in when opener KL Rahul had got injured in the first Test. Gambhir was not considered for the second Test match. Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings and failed miserably. He injured his thumb and was ruled out of the third Test match. Left with no option, the team management selected Gambhir in the playing eleven. Gambhir did justice to his selection in the team.

Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli

Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli (PTI/ Swapan Mahapatra)

In the third Test, Gautam Gambhir appeared positive as he hit two sixes in the first innings in which he scored 26 runs. However, in the second innings he looked in perfect shape. Gambhir scored a brisk 50 runs when the team required him to score quickly. With his experience and ability to score runs, he should be the ideal candidate for the opening slot.

The series against England will begin from November 9. England will have it tough as India will deploy its spin battery to destroy English batsmen. The last time England visited India, they won the series 2-1. However, India have not lost a home series after that series in 2013.

Indian team has been in a superb form recently. They defeated New Zealand 3-0. Apart from the batting department, Indian spinners were completely unplayable in the series. India’s ace-spinner R Ashwin scalped 27 New Zealand wickets in the series to annihilate their batting unit.

Full squad: Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma , Mohammed Shami, Gautam Gambhir, R Ashwin, R Jadeja,  Jayant Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav ,Karun Nair, Amit Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha and Cheteshwar Pujara