India’s tour of Australia will be remembered as one of the finest Test series. This series opened up the gates for the Indian bench strength as most of the senior players were injured. The batsmen were brave enough to take body blows and save the match for their team. A highly competitive series came to an end when India defeated the Australians at the Gabba.
For most of the former cricketers and analysts, this series was over for team India as they managed to score only 36 in their second innings at the Adelaide Oval. The departure of Virat Kohli added spice to the mix as Rahane was given the captaincy duties. But, for Rahane, this was a golden opportunity to cement his place as the leader of the group. Under him, the Indian Test team managed to defy all the odds.
Now, the focus shifts from the Australians to the Englishmen. Currently, England have one of the best fast bowling lineups. This presents an opportunity for Virat Kohli and his team to thrive on a tough challenge at home. As the team prepares to welcome the Englishmen, they have added few surprising inclusions in their arsenal.
Here are 3 surprising inclusions in India’s Test squad for England series:
1. Hardik Pandya
One of the biggest names in the limited-overs format right now, Hardik Pandya was in red hot form against the Australians. However, he returned to India after the T20I series and was unavailable for the Test series. But, the swashbuckling allrounder has returned for the first two Test matches against England. His abilities to strike the ball and keep the scoreboard ticking have enabled him to make his way to the Test squad.
Now, after an impressive IPL performance and an excellent Australia series, his place in the Test squad was not certain. The main reason for this is his unavailability to bowl as the fifth bowler. Injuries have never helped him to remain fully fit and therefore, his inclusion in the Test squad looks surprising. But, his batting abilities are enough to find him a place in the squad.
In the eleven test matches played so far, Hardik has scored a hundred and has a healthy strike rate of 73.89. His bowling abilities are a great asset for any team. In his Test career, he has taken 17 wickets with an economy rate of 3.38. With the best bowling figures of 5/28, he can swing the ball and the match in the team’s favor. This might have drawn the attention of the selectors as Hardik makes it to this list of 3 surprising inclusions in India’s Test squad for the England series.
2. Axar Patel
During 2014-2015, Axar Patel was a regular member of the Indian limited-overs squad. The tall left-arm all-rounder was able to bowl-in valuable overs and hit some deliveries out of the park with ease. However, a downfall in form meant that he was always warming the bench as India witnessed the rise of Ravindra Jadeja. But, his sudden inclusion in the Test squad has raised some eyebrows!
The only reason he is on the team is because of Jadeja’s unavailability. As Jadeja was at the receiving end of a brutal delivery that fractured his finger, Axar has been given a chance to redeem his career. Till now, he has played in 39 first-class matches and has the highest score of 110 (not out). With 13 half-centuries against his name, it is clear that he can bat with the tail when required.
Talking about his bowling, he has taken 134 wickets with the best bowling figures of 7/54. Axar is well known for his tight line and can be a great asset for Virat Kohli. An excellent domestic record also helps him to become the perfect back-up for Jadeja. Therefore, Axar Patel makes it to this list of 3 surprising inclusions in India’s Test squad for the England series.
3. Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar will remember the Gabba Test for the rest of his lifetime. The tall off-break bowler made it to the squad after Jadeja was unavailable for the final Test match. For Sundar, it was a brilliant opportunity as this enabled him to throw his hat in the ring for the best backup players. And thanks to Sundar, India managed to post a healthy first inning score!
But, his inclusion in the squad is a bit surprising. Given the fact that Sundar does not spin the ball drastically, his place in the team is a bit unclear. But, it looks like the selectors have kept their faith in Sundar as he looks to cement his place in the team. In the 13 first-class games he has played, he has scored 616 runs with the highest score of 159.
Talking about his bowling, he has taken 34 wickets with the best bowling figures of 6/87. Therefore, it is clear that the selectors are investing in the future of the team as he has been picked ahead of veterans who have performed exceedingly well. Also, his stellar performance at the Gabba makes him one of the players to look out for. Because of the selection committee’s faith in Sundar, he makes it to this list of 3 surprising inclusions in India’s Test squad for the England series.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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