No Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan for first two Tests against England, Dhruv Jurel earns maiden call-up | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Pacer Mohammed Shami, who is still recovering from an ankle injury was not included in the Indian side for the first two Tests against England, starting January 25 in Hyderabad.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday night announced the 16-man squad for the first two matches of the five-Test series and the side also did not have wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan in it.
Gloveman Dhruv Jurel got a maiden Test call-up while pacer Avesh Khan was also included in the squad.
KL Rahul and KS Bharat are the other two wicketkeeper-batters in the squad.
Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel are back in spin-heavy squad which will be led by veteran R Ashwin.
Shami had not played any competitive cricket since the 2023 ODI World Cup final and has not been included in the squad as a precautionary move.
Ishan had taken a break from the two-match Test series in South Africa and the ongoing T20I series at home against Afghanistan and remains another notable absentee in the first two Tests.
Pacer Jasprit Buhmah will be Rohit Sharma‘s deputy in the Test series.
Karnataka pacer Prasidh Krishna was also not considered as he also picked up a left quadricep injury during the Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat on this day.
Pace bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur also missed out but left-arm spinner Axar Patel made an expected comeback to the side.
However, the inclusion of Uttar Pradesh player Jurel headlined the selection.
The 22-year-old was a part of India A squad that played two matches against their South African counterparts in December last year.
He had made a 69 in the second match at Benoni and more recently made a 63 for UP against Kerala in a first round group game of the Ranji Trophy at Alappuzha.
Jurel, who had made his First-Class debut last year against Vidarbha, has so far made 790 runs from 15 matches at an average of 46 with a hundred and five fifties in the domestic circuit.
However, KS Bharat could be the first-choice wicketkeeper batter and the selectors have also named KL Rahul for the role.
Rahul had donned the big gloves in the two Test matches against South Africa with a fair amount of success.
But it is unlikely that the Bengaluru-man could continue in the role against England as India are certain to field three spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar, a move that warrants a specialist behind the stumps.
India squad for first 2 Tests vs England: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Avesh Khan
England’s 16-man squad: Ben Stokes, Rehan Ahmed, James Anderson, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Shoaib Bashir, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood
1st Test: India v England, 25-29 January, Hyderabad
2nd Test: India v England, 2-6 February, Vizag
3rd Test: India v England, 15-19 February, Rajkot
4th Test: India v England, 23-27 February, Ranchi
5th Test: India v England, 7-11 March, Dharamsala
(With inputs from PTI)

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