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Dhruv Jurel earns maiden call-up as India name squad for first two Tests vs ENG | Cricket

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday evening named a 16-man squad for the first two Tests against England which begins from January 25 onwards, 22-year-old Dhruv Jurel earned his maiden call-up as a third back-up wicketkeeping option as Ishan Kishan, who had reportedly taken a break from cricket citing mental fatigue, has not been named.

BCCI name 16-man squad for first two Tests against England

The squad also does not include veteran fast bowler Mohammed Shami as he continues to recover from the ankle injury he incurred during the 2023 ODI World Cup campaign in November last year. He was optimistic about returning to the Test squad, but the selectors probably wanted him to take further rest as a precautionary move ahead of the final stages of the series against England.

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Besides Shami, the fast-bowling line-up does not have Prasidh Krishna, who featured in both the games in the Test series in South Africa, picking just two wickets for 130 runs. It was earlier reported on Friday that the pacer had picked up a quadriceps injury on Day 1 of Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy clash against Gujarat in Ahmedabad.

Avesh Khan, meanwhile, has retained his place in the squad. On the back of his performance for India A during the South Africa tour, he was added to the main squad ahead of the match in Cape Town. Avesh hence joins the likes of vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar to form a familiar-looking strong pace attack for India while the spin combination comprises of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav.

The surprise in the squad has been the addition of Uttar Pradesh cricketer Jurel, who will be a back-up wicketkeeper to KL Rahul, who kept wickets in both the match of the Test series in South Africa, and KS Bharat. The youngster was a part of the India A team that played two matches against their South African counterparts in December last year. Jurel scored 69 in the second match at Benoni and in the first round group game of the Ranji Trophy, he scored 63 for Uttar Pradesh against Kerala. The 22-year-old, who had made his First-Class debut last year against Vidarbha, has so far made 790 runs from 15 matches at an average of 46 with a hundred and five fifties in the domestic circuit.

This will be India’s third assignment in the ongoing World Test Championship cycle and first at home. They had earlier won the two-match series in West Indies 1-0 after the second game was drawn, while they held hosts South Africa to a 1-1 draw in a two-match series earlier this year.

India’s squad for first two Tests vs England: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Avesh Khan

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