New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) on Friday evening announced India's 20-member squad for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Test Championship final against New Zealand and the five-match Test series against England.
While all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and batsman Hanuma Vihari returned to the squad, opener Prithvi Shaw, who roared back to form in the 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), was left out.
Shaw had performed miserably in his last Test match against Australia at Adelaide, scoring a duck and 4 in his two innings. Shaw also had a particularly bad IPL 2020 season and questions were raised over his batting technique and temperament.
However, Shaw returned to form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy. He also showed his class in the IPL 2021, which was suspended earlier this week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Soon after his exploits in domestic cricket, calls to include Shaw in the Test squad had increased. However, the BCCI, as per a Times of India report, is not happy with the 21-year-old's fitness and has asked him to "shed a few kilos".
BCCI sources, quoted by The Times of India, have also said that Shaw needs to sustain his form to get back into the team as he has struggled in international cricket in the past too.
"Prithvi is still very slow across the turf for a 21-year-old. He needs to shed a few more kilos. He also had concentration issues while fielding in Australia. Shaw has been working hard since he returned from Australia. He has the example of Rishabh Pant right in front of him. If Pant can turn things around in a few months, Prithvi too can do it," The Times of India quoted BCCI sources as saying.
Meanwhile, World Test Championship final gets underway on June 18 and will continue till June 22 with June 23 kept as a reserve day. While it was initially set to be played at the Lord's, the ICC decided to move it to Southampton with an eye on the COVID-19 situation across the globe.
India's Squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma