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India squad for Investec Test Series 2014

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain)

Following Sachin Tendulkar's retirement from the game, Dhoni is the player that receives most of the attention from fans, the media and sponsors in India. The skipper has presided over an impressive period in the country's history, with a World Cup, World Twenty20 and the number-one Test ranking all being earned under the wicketkeeper's charge. But leading a new-look team - who have lost their past two Test series to South Africa and New Zealand - could be the biggest challenge he has faced.

Murali Vijay

An opening batsman who can be devastating on his day. He went 18 months without playing a Test before scoring back-to-back 150s following his recall in the 2013 series against Australia. Has not made a Test hundred since, though, with his top score of 97 coming in the Boxing Day Test versus South Africa. 

Shikhar Dhawan

Dhawan took to Test cricket with ease, firing the fastest century by a format debutant in his very first knock, going on to score 187 in 174 balls against Australia. The 28-year-old has now made seven Test appearances, with his second hundred following in February versus New Zealand.

Gautam Gambhir

Back in the Test squad for the first time since England's victorious tour of India 18 months ago, Gambhir will be looking to rekindle the form that made him one of the finest batsmen in the game towards the end of the previous decade. The 32-year-old has nine Test centuries in his 51 appearances, though none since 2010. He has toured England once before - in 2011 - and failed to make a half-century.

Cheteshwar Pujara

Pujara has quickly established himself as a number three to be relied upon, scoring six centuries in his 19 Tests. In an era when the Indian Premier League sits high in his nation's conscious, the 26-year-old instead trades on an assured technique and uncomplicated strokeplay - a high-value commodity to shield the star turns below him from the new ball.

Virat Kohli

The star of the Indian batting line-up. If India expected a long period of mourning in the wake of Tendulkar's retirement, it has been feathered somewhat by the brash genius of Kohli. His heavy run-scoring output has so far been unaffected by the inevitable comparisons with the 'Little Master'. In fact, a nation's will for him to fill the giant-sized void left by Tendulkar has seemingly steeled his flinty spirit.

Ajinkya Rahane

Rahane first made his name for India on these shores three years ago during the limited-overs series as a busy batsman at the top of the order. He has since graduated to Test ranks and impressed in seaming conditions at Wellington during the winter to hit his first five-day ton.

Rohit Sharma

After a longer-than-expected wait for his Test debut, the 27-year-old made back-to-back centuries in his first two games during Tendulkar’s farewell series against West Indies last November. He struggled in the following tours of South Africa and New Zealand, though, to raise questions over whether he can transfer his prodigious limited-overs talent to the long game.

Ravindra Jadeja

An all-rounder who has a knack for making things happen. He has forced his way into India’s Test line-up as a legitimate left-arm spinner - taking 36 wickets at 26.30 - while a batting average of 20.77 arguably does not reflect his ability with the blade.

Ravichandran Ashwin

India’s premier spinner has nine five-wicket hauls in his 19 Tests, although all of those have come on home pitches. He has played just four Tests away from home and has twice gone wicketless. A very handy lower-order batsman with two Test centuries – both against West Indies.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

A young medium paceman who should enjoy the swing-friendly conditions in England. On his only previous international trip to England he helped India to victory in last year's Champions Trophy, taking six wickets at an average just over 20.

Mohammed Shami

Shami has made an impressive start to his Test career, claiming 27 wickets in six games. He swings the ball primarily into the pads of the right-hander, but can get it to go the other way. His accuracy and ability to get the old ball moving too make him a major threat.

Ishant Sharma

In Zaheer Khan's absence, Ishant will be expected to lead the India attack. The six-foot-four seamer has 164 wickets in 55 Tests and, so early was his arrival on the international scene - making his debut seven years ago - it is easy to forget he is just 25. He was in fine form against New Zealand and will hope to transfer that to English conditions this summer, having struggled over here in 2011.

Ishwar Pandey

The tall paceman is on his second tour with the India Test squad, but at its start was still awaiting his international debut. The 24-year-old quickly worked his way through the ranks in Indian cricket and finished the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy - India's domestic first-class competition - as the top wicket-taker, which earned him a call-up for the trip to New Zealand.

Stuart Binny

The all-rounder is looking to make his Test debut this summer, having impressed with the bat in the warm-up game against Derbyshire, making an unbeaten 81 from 111 deliveries. Binny, the son of former India international Roger Binny, claimed the headlines with a staggering 6-4 in a one-day game against Bangladesh in June and will now hope to be given the chance to prove his worth with a red ball.

Varun Aaron

A back injury forced the pace bowler to miss almost two years of his career and the 24-year-old is now looking to make up for lost time. He made his Test debut in a thrilling tussle against West Indies in 2011, taking three wickets in the first innings, but he failed to hit the four runs required to secure victory from five balls he faced as the match was drawn. Now his injury worries appear over, he will hope to make up for lost time this summer.

Pankaj Singh

The 29-year-old has waited a long time to get another Test call-up. He toured Australia in 2007 but was unable to force his way back into the side until this year. A consistent performer in Indian domestic cricket, the seamer, who can swing the ball both ways, believes conditions in England will suit his game perfectly.

Wriddhiman Saha

The reserve wicketkeeper is unlikely to get to add to his two Test caps while in England. His two previous appearances - in 2010 and 2012 - were as a result of injury and suspension to team-mates.

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