Kohli, Ashwin to leave for England on Tuesday ahead of WTC final


Eleven cricketers – seven squad members, a reserve and three support bowlers – along with India’s men’s cricket team’s support staff will leave for England in the wee hours of Tuesday to commence the preparation for the World Test Championship final versus Australia, to be played at the Oval in London from June 7.

The seven squad members include Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat. Understandably, all these cricketers, barring Unadkat, are from the six franchises whose Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign ended in the league stage.

Unadkat had been replaced by the Lucknow Super Giants after injuring himself in the nets. Sportstar understands that both Unadkat and Umesh Yadav have been passed fit by experts at the National Cricket Academy.

Mukesh Kumar, the promising pacer who is among the reserves, will also travel as part of the first batch. He will be joined by three more pacers – Aniket Choudhary, Akash Deep and Yarra Prithviraj – who have been selected as net bowlers by the national selection panel in consultation with the team management.

Cheteshwar Pujara, participating in the County Championship, will join the preparations later this week.

With captain Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians having qualified for the IPL Playoffs, head coach Rahul Dravid will have to lead the preparation phase. The coaching staff is rejuvenated after a two-month break and will be eager to help India clinch its maiden ICC title since the 2013 Champions Trophy.

The remaining members of the 15-member squad along with reserves Suryakumar Yadav and Ruturaj Gaikwad are expected to leave for London on May 29, the night after the IPL final.

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