India vs England: Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer return as England announce 16-strong squad for first two Tests

Archer and Stokes were rested for the Sri Lanka series and Burns was at home for the birth of his first child. Surrey’s Ollie Pope will travel to India and will be added to the squad when passed fit. Pope is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in September during the Test series against Pakistan.

India vs England: Skipper Kohli, Ishant Sharma and Hardik return as selection committee name 18-man squad

Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, all-rounder Sam Curran and pacer Mark Wood have been rested for the opening two Tests. While Ollie Pope will travel to India and be added to the squad when fit.

The Joe Root-led side will play the opening Test against Virat Kohli-led Indian side on February 5 at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.

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Here’s England Squad for first two Tests in India:

Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.

Reserves:

James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi have been named as the reserves.

The National Selectors have provided a block of rest for Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood. The three players, who are currently in Sri Lanka, will miss the first and second Tests in India.

This is consistent with the selection policy of finding a block of rest for all multi-format players at some point during the post-Christmas winter schedule.

With Archer and Stokes returning, and subject to fitness of the rest of the squad, Somerset’s Craig Overton will return home after the Sri Lanka series.

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