Eleven cricketers — seven Team India squad members, a reserve and three support bowlers — along with support staff will leave for England early on Tuesday to commence preparations for the World Test Championship final versus Australia, to be played at the Oval in London from June 7.
The seven players are Virat Kohli, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat. These players, barring Unadkat, are from the six franchises whose Indian Premier League campaign ended in the league stage.
Unadkat had been replaced by the Lucknow Super Giants after injuring himself in the nets. The Hindu understands that both Unadkat and Umesh have been passed fit by experts at the National Cricket Academy.
Promising pacer Mukesh Kumar, 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 IPL franchise Mumbai Indians having qualified for the 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, alongwith reserves Suryakumar Yadav and Rutuaj Gaikwad, are expected to leave for London on May 29, the night after the IPL final.