The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Wednesday (July 18), announced the squad for the first three Tests against England. The MSK Prasad-led selection panel sprung quite a few surprises spearheaded by Rishabh Pant’s inclusion in the 18-man squad.

Pant has been included in the team in place of gloveman Wriddhiman Saha, who is still recovering from a thumb injury. Saha had hurt his left thumb while playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

As a result, he had missed the majority of the second leg of the tournament including the grand finale against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). And as well as One-off Test against Afghanistan in June.

Southpaw Pant is currently in England with the India A team and has done decently with the bat.  He is likely to be a backup wicketkeeper with Dinesh Karthik, who is all set to don the gloves.

Credits: Getty

Rohit Sharma has paid the price for the horror show with his bat in South Africa earlier this year. The limited-overs format vice-captain, who was also dropped for the One-off Test against Afghanistan, once again failed to find a spot in the team despite scoring two centuries in the coloured clothing on the ongoing tour.

Karun Nair has retained his spot in the team. The right-handed batsman is currently leading India A in England and impressed with the bat.

In five innings so far 20, 93, 42, 55 and 4.  Mohammed Shami is also back in the squad after losing his spot in the squad for the Afghanistan Test. The Bengal star recently cleared the fitness test.

India squad for first three Tests against Joe Root-led England –

Virat Kohli (c); Shikhar Dhawan; KL Rahul; M Vijay; Cheteshwar Pujara; Ajinkya Rahane; Karun Nair; Dinesh Karthik (wk); Rishabh Pant; R Ashwin; Ravindra Jadeja; Kuldeep Yadav; Hardik Pandya; Ishant Sharma; Mohammed Shami; Umesh Yadav;  Jasprit Bumrah; Shardul Thakur.

Jasprit Bumrah is also named in the squad. The pacer is recovering from a broken thumb and will be available for selection only from the second Test (Lord’s) subjected to fitness.

On the other hand, a call on Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s inclusion in the Test squad will be taken after he is assessed by the BCCI’s medical team.  The right-arm pacer aggravated a back injury during the third ODI against England in Leeds.

Kuldeep Yadav’s impressive showing in the T20Is and ODIs has earned him a place in the Test team. He along with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja would take care of the spin department.

Credits: Getty

Meanwhile, Twitter was quick to react to the news.

Also, here are some of the reactions following Test squad announcement of India:

#Twitter welcomes Rishabh Pant to red-ball cricket:

#Rohit getting the axe doesn’t surprise many: