India have named a 16-man squad for the first two Tests of the upcoming series against England, with uncapped wicket-keeper Dhruv Jurel making the most notable participation.
Avesh Khan is the other player who is yet to play a Test match, although the 27-year-old right-hander has 27 caps for India.
Jurel is one of three goalkeepers included in the squad, with India’s position as first-choice gloveman unclear in the absence of Rishabh Pant, who is still recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident at the end of 2022. KL Rahul donned the gloves during India’s 1-1 draw with South Africa and is a regular batsman in white-ball cricket. However, those appearances were his second and third as designated wicket-keeper in all of first-class cricket, and there were concerns about his ability behind the scenes. stump in rotating condition.
KS Bharat had the gloves for the World Test Championship and Border-Gavaskar Cup finals, and was considered a superior gloveman, but averaged 18 with a high score of 44 from five Test. Ishan Kishan, the West Indies keeper, fell out of contention.
Jurel is a mid-order option, a regular gloveman with an excellent first-class record. After 15 matches, he averaged 46.47 with a high score of 249. He scored 63 and 69 in the final two innings before being called up, respectively for Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy and for India A in the South Africa.
🚨 INDIAN TEST TEAM ANNOUNCED 🚨
Dhruv Jurel and Avesh Khan are two players who are yet to be introduced.
– Wisden (@WisdenCricket) January 12, 2024
Elsewhere, India’s line-up was as expected. Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli will round out the top four, with either Shreyas Iyer or KL Rahul at number five. If Rahul retains, there could be room for both.
If India require five bowlers, Ravindra Jadeja could bat at number 6 or number 7, with the chosen keeper filling the remaining position. R Ashwin will take charge of the spin position, while Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah will occupy the two pace positions. Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar and Avesh will all compete for the final spot in the XI.
The squad has been named for the first two Tests only, with the first taking place at Hyderabad from January 25.
Indian squad for the first two England Tests: Rohit Sharma (c), Jasprit Bumrah (vc), KL Rahul (week), Dhruv Jurel (week), KS Bharat (week), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj , Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan.