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Jadeja back; Hardik, Kuldeep dropped for England tour

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Archie Little | New Delhi

A fit-again Ravindra Jadeja made his way back into the 20-member strong Indian squad announced on Friday for next month’s World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand and a five-match series against England. However, all-rounder Hardik Pandya was not considered as “he is still not in a position to bowl”.

Out-of-form spinner Kuldeep Yadav and pacer Navdeep Saini have been left out of the squad, which is expected to depart for England for the twin assignments in the third week of this month.

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Along with Jadeja, batsman Hanuma Vihari and senior pacer Mohammed Shami also returned to the side after missing the home series against England due to injuries. All three had endured injuries during the away series against Australia earlier this year.

“Hardik Pandya is still not in a position to bowl. The experiment of selectors to keep him during England and prepare him with bowling workload has failed miserably. He will henceforth not be considered for Test cricket,” a BCCI source said.

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The selectors also picked four standby players — Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, and Arzan Nagwaswalla, the BCCI stated in a press release.

KL Rahul, who underwent a surgery after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis, and wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha, infected with Covid-19 during the recently-suspended Indian Premier League, have been included subject to fitness.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel has retained his place as the third spinner after a successful debut series against England.

The WTC final against the Black Caps will be held from June 18 in Southampton followed by the Tests against England from August 4.

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The Test series against England will start in Nottingham, followed by matches at the Lord’s (August 12 to 16), Leeds (August 25 to 29), The Oval (September 2 to 6) and Manchester (September 10 to 14).

India squad:

Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-capt), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wk; subject to fitness clearance). Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla.

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