Indian selectors have come down hard on the poor showing of the Indian opener Murali Vijay. He failed miserably in the first 2 Tests against England and could score just 26 runs in 4 innings that included a pair in the 2nd Test. He has been omitted from the Indian squad for the final 2 Tests. The 18-year-old Prithvi Shaw has been called-up for the first time in the Indian Test side.
Along with Shaw, the 24-year-old Hanuma Vihari also received his maiden Test call-up. Both have done extremely well while representing India A in the recent series. It could be a sign of things to come in the near future as dropping Vijay, who has been India’s preferred opener for long, is a huge decision.
Vijay wasn’t included in the playing XI for the 3rd Test at Trent Bridge. To make the matters worse for him, the openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul played well and put together 50-run stands in both the innings. Due to the good starts, India scored heavily on both occasions and ended up winning the match.
Another change in the squad was the axing of Kuldeep Yadav. The spinner had impressed one and all in the limited-overs leg of the tour. Due to his tremendous performances, he was included in the Test squad. But India played Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of him in the first Test. Kuldeep found a place in the 2nd Test at Lord’s but looked heavily out of shape and couldn’t bag a wicket.
India’s premier swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar was expected to be fit for the last 2 Tests. But he has still not recovered from his lower back injury. Going by India’s wonderful victory in the 3rd Test, it’s unlikely that there will be a change in the XI.
India’s squad for the 4th and 5th Test against England
Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Hanuma Vihari