BCCI’s Decision: Mukesh Kumar Released from India Squad for 3rd Test Against England

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In a strategic move, the Indian cricket team has opted to release fast bowler Mukesh Kumar from the squad for the third Test match against England in Rajkot. This decision paves the way for the return of Mohammed Siraj to the playing XI, while Mukesh will now rejoin the Bengal side for their upcoming Ranji Trophy fixture.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) took to social media to elucidate the rationale behind releasing the pacer. “Mr. Mukesh Kumar has been released from the India squad for the third Test against England in Rajkot. He will rejoin his Ranji Trophy team, Bengal, for their next fixture before reuniting with Team India in Ranchi,” BCCI stated on X (formerly known as Twitter).

In the third Test, India won the toss and opted to bat first against England at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Thursday. Ahead of this crucial encounter, players such as Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel were bestowed with the honor of receiving their Test caps, reflecting the team’s commitment to nurturing emerging talents alongside seasoned players.

 
 
 

English captain Ben Stokes is set to mark a monumental milestone as he prepares to play his 100th Test match. Meanwhile, India’s star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is on the brink of achieving a significant feat by potentially claiming his 500th Test wicket. On the other hand, the legendary James Anderson sets his sights on the elusive 700-wicket mark.

With the series finely poised at 1-1, the stakes are high as both teams gear up for the third Test. Following a narrow 28-run defeat in the inaugural Test in Hyderabad, India bounced back emphatically with a resounding 106-run victory in the second Test at Visakhapatnam.

During the toss, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma disclosed that Axar Patel and Mukesh Kumar would be absent from the third Test lineup. He also confirmed the inclusion of Mohammed Siraj and Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI.

“We’ve elected to bat first and made four changes. We have some injuries and players returning from the previous game. Two debutants, Siraj and Jadeja, are back. Axar Patel and Mukesh Kumar will miss out. The pitch appears promising, better than the previous two. Rajkot is renowned for its good pitches, although it may deteriorate as the match progresses. The team has shown resilience and performed admirably when needed. The next three Tests promise to be as thrilling as the first two. It’s crucial to maintain our focus and strive for excellence,” Rohit remarked.

The English captain announced that Mark Wood would replace Shoaib Bashir in the visitors’ squad.

England XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes (Wk), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, James Anderson.

India XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Jurel (Wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

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