Indian selectors have announced the squad that will play the first three Tests of the five-match series against England starting on 1 August. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant got his maiden Test call-up. Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav has been retained in the Test squad following his brilliant performances in the ODI series, while pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been left out owing to a serious lower back injury.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) selection panel met on Wednesday in Leeds and picked an 18-man squad for the opening three Tests against England.

Captain Virat Kohli returns to the side after missing the Afghanistan Test with injury. Pant, who is currently in England with the India ‘A’ team, will be the back-up stumper. 

With regular wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha still not recovered from a thumb injury, which he sustained during the Indian Premier League (IPL), Dinesh Karthik has retained his place while Pant, who is currently in England with the India ‘A’ team, will be the back-up stumper.

Jasprit Bumrah, who is suffering from a thumb injury will miss the first Test, but would be contention for a place in the team from the second Test. All-rounder Hardik Pandya will be Team India's trump card.

The selectors have chosen a star-studded pace department with the inclusion of Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Bumrah and Shardul Thakur. Controversial paceman Mohammed Shami has also been included in the list after he cleared the yo-yo test in the second attempt.

In the batting department, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Karun Nair all have made the cut, while Rohit Sharma has been dropped.

Kuldeep will share the spin-bowling duties with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

India squad: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.