The management feels that Padikkal needs to play one more season of red-ball cricket before he is on the list for the Test side
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the updated squad for the upcoming India and England five-match Test series. Initially, there were many speculations about the replacement of Shubman Gill in the squad. Adding to that the injuries of Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar further gave momentum to the rounds of talks for replacement in team India’s squad.
The BCCI, however, confirmed that Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav would replace the injured players in the squad. Currently, both of them are with the second-string team for the white ball series against Sri Lanka. Previously there was certain chatter on the inclusion of Jayant Yadav in the squad as a replacement of Sundar. The fact that Jayant Yadav is an off-spinner and can take up the charge wirh the willow as well, he was expected to travel to the UK. But then it was learned that the team might not need him as if for now.
Along with Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal was also looked upon as an alternative for the opening slot. The youngster had an impressive domestic season this year and also exuded his flair in the Indian Premier League. However, he did not make it to the squad as the management feels that he needs to play one more season of red-ball cricket before he is on the list for the Test side. Padikkal currently averages 34 in the red-ball format.
Team India raring to start their second WTC cycle
With this updated squad, team India now has a fair amount of options including Abhimanyu Easwaran, who got in as a stand-by player has been now been included in the main squad. What comes as a sigh of relief for India is that Rishabh Pant has returned with two negative RT-PCR tests and has recovered from COVID-19.
Team India played a three-day warm-up game against the County Select XI at Durham. This practice match would have played a crucial role in helping the players to understand the English conditions ahead of the big challenge. Indian pacers looked impressive in the practice match that further would iron out problems for India. England and India are now all set to lock horns against each other for the first Test match that kick starts on August 4.