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ENG VS IND 2021: Why Is Ishant Sharma Not Playing The First Test?

The veteran Test pacer of India Ishant Sharma was not included in the playing XI of the first Test against England because he is not fully fit to compete

Ishant Sharma
Photo Credit: (BCCI)

The first match of the India Tour of England’s five-match Test series started at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Fans were left surprised after Ishant Sharma and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin were not included in the playing XI.

Ishant Sharma was always the first-choice Test pacer of India. He has the experience of playing over 100 games for India in the purest form of the game. Only two fast bowlers from India have played 100 Test games. The first was legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev and the second is Ishant Sharma. Notably, Ishant recently completed the 100 Test match achievement against England at home. Moreover, Ishant has played 102 games for India with 306 wickets in his bag.

The main reason behind Ishant Sharma’s absence from the first match is his fitness. Ishant has suffered a knee injury and he is not fully recovered yet. Due to the knee injury issues, Ishant even missed the warm-up games for India.

“Our bowling combination is: Bumrah, Shami, Thakur, Siraj and Jadeja”: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli led India decided to enter the match with 4 fast bowlers in the team and just one spinner. However, it came as a surprise for everyone that, the one spinner picked in playing XI is not Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin has been in exceptional form in the last 10 months. The 34-year-old spinner has contributed a lot for India in Test both with bat and ball.

Also, Ashwin was the highest wicket-taker in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship tournament. Still, he was excluded from the Indian playing XI during the first Test against England.

“Last time England chose to bowl first here, and we would have wanted to bat first as well. We would look to get in with the ball in the first session, and a few early breakthroughs will be handy. There is a bit of a change up top, KL Rahul comes in. Our bowling combination is: Bumrah, Shami, Thakur, Siraj and Jadeja as the spinner. You could call it an accumulation of all the hardwork we have put in over the years. The opportunity to win in England and Australia in the same year is rare. To get opportunities in such times to play and play in front of crowds as well, we are grateful,” asserted Captain Virat Kohli. 

Meanwhile, India started the match with a bang as they picked the wicket in the very first over. Jasprit Bumrah who didn’t have a good run in the WTC final dismissed Rory Burns on the duck in 5th delivery of the match.

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