Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 7 (ANI): Opening batsman Prithvi Shaw missed the bus as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday named a 20-member squad (two subject to fitness clearance) for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand slated to be played in June and the five-match Test series against England that follows.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya also was not picked as it seems he is still some time away from bowling full throttle. A notably miss also is pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. While he did play the Indian Premier League, he hasn't found a place in the Test team.
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked the Indian squad for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final and the five-match Test series against England," the BCCI said in an official statement.
Team India's first stop will be in Southampton where they play New Zealand to decide the first champion of the Test format. Following their 3-1 win against England at home, India finished as the No. 1 side with 72.2 percentage points and booked their place in the final.
Coming back to the team, while many thought a good show with the bat in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Indian Premier League (IPL) would see Shaw make a return for the Test matches, but the selectors clearly went with the format and the change in seam and swing when it comes to the red ball as compared to the white ball.
The selection committee has picked 20 players (two subject to fitness clearance) and four standby players as both the WTC final and five-match Test series against England will be played in a bio-secure environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Test Championship final gets underway on June 18 and will continue till June 22 with June 23 kept as a reserve day. While it was initially set to be played at the Lord's, the ICC decided to move it to Southampton with an eye on the COVID-19 situation across the globe.
India's Squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla. (ANI)