India v England: Rohit Sharma to miss first two Tests

Rohit is expected to be out for six to eight weeks
Rohit is expected to be out for six to eight weeks

Batsman Rohit Sharma will miss India’s first two Tests against England through injury and faces a battle to be fit for the remainder of the five-match series.

The 29-year-old, second only to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha in India’s batting averages in their 3-0 win over New Zealand, has a thigh injury.

Openers Shikhar Dhawan (thumb) and KL Rahul (hamstring) also miss out.

Seamer Ishant Sharma comes in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar while all-rounder Hardik Pandya could make his debut.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will lead India’s spin attack against England, who struggled against the turning ball in the two-Test series in Bangladesh, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

India v England Test schedule
9-13 November First Test, Rajkot
17-21 November Second Test, Visakhapatnam
26-30 November Third Test, Mohali
8-12 December Fourth Test, Mumbai
16-20 December Fifth Test, Chennai

Rohit’s injury means veteran Gautam Gambhir, who was called up for the last Test against New Zealand at Indore after a two-year absence, is in line to remain at the top of the order against England alongside Murali Vijay after he was included in the 15-man squad.

The five-Test series begins in Rajkot on 9 November.

Squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav.