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SportShami absent from India squad for start of England series

Shami absent from India squad for start of England series

Mohammed Shami is absent from India’s squad for the first two Tests of their upcoming home series against England, though Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel have returned to the hosts’ spin-heavy selection.

The first of five Tests between India and England begins on January 25 in Hyderabad, before the series moves to Visakhapatnam for the second match from February 2.

Seamer Shami has been out of action since November’s 50-over World Cup final, which saw India suffer a heartbreaking home defeat against Australia.

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He was forced to withdraw from India’s Test squad for two matches in South Africa over the festive period, having suffered an ankle injury, though he had spoken with optimism about his chances of facing England.

However, Shami has been unable to recover in time to get the nod for the opening Tests, with India picking four spinners in his absence.

Patel, Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin will lead the home attack as India look to avoid a first red-ball series defeat on home soil since England’s 2012 triumph over them.

Ishan Kishan is also absent after skipping India’s two matches in South Africa – which resulted in one win and one defeat – while uncapped pair Avesh Khan and Dhruv Jurel are included.

Khan was recently called up as a replacement for Shami in South Africa and has played eight one-day internationals and 19 T20Is, though he is yet to feature for the red-ball side.

Following the first two matches, the series heads to Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala, with the fifth and final match set to begin on March 7.

Full India squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Avesh Khan.

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