- England announced the squad for the opening two matches of the Test series from India
- Archer and Ben Stokes return to England, both of whom were rested for the tour of Sri Lanka.
- Opener Rory Burns, who did not go to Sri Lanka tour due to birth of first child, has also returned to the team
Offensive all-rounder Ben Stokes and pacer Jofra Archer were on Thursday included in the 16-man squad for England for the first two Tests of the upcoming four-match series against India. The England selectors have also included six reserve players for the first and second Test to be held at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai from February 5.
Both Stokes and Archer have been rested from the two-Test series against Sri Lanka while Rory Burns was home for the birth of his child. The command of the team which will remain in the hands of Root. Olly Pope of Surrey will also visit India and join the team to prove his fitness. Pope is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained during the Test series against Pakistan in September.
National selectors have rested Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Curren and Mark Wood. Currently these three players present in Sri Lanka will not be able to play in the first and second Test in India. The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a release, “This is in line with our selection policy in which players playing in all formats at any time in the winter program after Christmas have to be rested in the group.”
Somerset’s Craig Overton will return home after the series against Sri Lanka in a position to prove the return of Archer and Stokes and the fitness of the rest of the team.
IND vs AUS: Gaba’s fort collapsed, Indian heroes waved tricolor
England team for first two Tests
Joe Root (captain), Joffra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jose Butler, Jake Crowley, Ben Fox, Dan Lacrance, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Allie Stone, Chris Woakes .
Team: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Riddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), R.K. Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Akshar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jaspreet Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur
Net Boller: Ankit Rajput, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, Krishnappa Gautam, Saurabh Kumar
Standby player: KS Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar, Priyank Panchal
Such is the schedule
The first Test will be played in Chennai from February 5 to February 9. Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium will also host the second Test match apart from the first match. The second Test will be played from February 13 to 17. The third and fourth Tests will be played at the world’s largest Motera Stadium (24 to 28 and four to eight March). The T20 series will begin on March 12. The remaining T20 matches will be played on 14, 16, 18 and 20 March. All these matches will be held in Motera, so one thing is certain that this new grand stadium will serve as a bio bubble for both the teams.
Video: Australian media showers team after embarrassing defeat, see Exclusive review from Sydney
All ODIs will be held in Pune
Similarly, the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium of Pune will be built as a bio bubble for the ODI series. All the three matches of the three-match ODI series – 23, 26 and 28 – will be played at this stadium. International cricket matches will be held in India for the first time after Kovid-19. Due to the epidemic, this time the IPL was organized outside India in the United Arab Emirates.