Batters Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav, who were added to the India Test squad for the ongoing tour of England, have joined the team at Lord’s after completing their quarantine period.
They were called up at the end of July, while they were in Sri Lanka playing a white-ball series, as the Indian team management sought replacements for the injured trio of Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar.
Then, however, they were both among eight players who were identified as close contacts of Krunal Pandya, who had tested positive for Covid-19 in Sri Lanka. This left temporary question marks over their passage to England, but they eventually flew over and went into quarantine as per travel protocols.
While Shaw was added as a back-up opening option, Suryakumar’s inclusion was possibly prompted by the team management’s concern over the fitness of senior batter Ajinkya Rahane, who had not participated in the warm-up match before the first Test because of a swollen left hamstring.
Shaw returns to the Test fold after being dropped for the home series against England earlier this year. His last Test was the pink-ball match in Adelaide last December, where he made 0 and 4 in India’s heavy defeat.
He turned his form around with a fine outing in the domestic one-day Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he made 827 runs in eight innings as he led Mumbai to the title. He continued his form in the first half of the 2021 IPL, where he gave the Delhi Capitals flying starts. His List A numbers since the Australian tour have been phenomenal: 1240 runs in 20 innings at an average of 72.94 and a strike rate of 142.85 including four centuries and as many fifties. He did not enjoy the best of form in the ODIs in Sri Lanka though – 105 runs in three innings – before Covid-19 protocols kept him – and Suryakumar – out of two of the three T20Is.
Suryakumar, whose international career took off following the 2020 IPL, made his T20I debut in the home series against England and his ODI debut in Sri Lanka this month. Recently, he was named Player of the Series for his 124 runs in three innings in the ODIs against Sri Lanka, which India won 2-1. Since IPL 2020, he has 867 runs in 32 T20s at a strike rate of 148.7.