Virat Kohli will lead India, with Ajinkya Rahane remaining his vice-captain. Rishabh Pant is slotted in as the official wicketkeeper, with both KL Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha pending fitness clearance. Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal are the three specialist openers in the squad.
Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Arzan Nagwaswalla will also tour, but only as standby players, and are therefore unavailable to be picked in the team selector. Two of the more eye-catching exclusions from the squad are quick bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was a part of India’s last tour to England.
Kuldeep Yadav, T Natarajan, Navdeep Saini and Prithvi Shaw also miss out. There are few surprise inclusions in the squad, with all the big names making the cut.
The inaugural World Test Championship final will take place at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton between June 18 to 22, 2021. It will be followed by a five-Test series against England, which begins at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on August 4.
There are plenty of selection dilemmas to keep in mind. Can Shubman Gill come of age as an opener in tricky English conditions? Do India need four bowlers or five, and how many should be spinners or all-rounders? And does Hanuma Vihari, after his Sydney heroics and with experience in England, warrant another look?
India squad: India’s squad: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, KL Rahul.
Back-ups: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Arzan Nagwaswalla.