The first batch of India’s contingent — consisting of support staff members, support bowlers and some of the squad members — leaves 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 Hindu understands that head coach Rahul Dravid and members of the coaching and support staff — rejuvenated after a two-month break — will board a flight to London along with a few members of the squad, a reserve pacer and three net bowlers.
Promising pacer Mukesh Kumar, who is among the reserves, will 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.
The squad members who will travel on Tuesday are from the six franchises whose Indian Premier League campaign ended in the league stage. The Hindu could confirm that Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav are travelling as part of the first batch, with Umesh having been cleared by the National Cricket Academy.
While R. Ashwin is expected to join the squad mid-week, Virat Kohli’s travel plans could not be ascertained. Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat, recovering after hurting his ankle during the IPL, will travel later in the week.
Cheteshwar Pujara, participating in the County Championship, will join the preparations later this week. The remaining members of the 15-member squad, along with reserves Suryakumar Yadav and Ruturaj Gaikwad, are expected to leave for London on May 29, the night after the IPL final.