The third Test is set to begin on February 15 in Rajkot, followed by the fourth Test in Ranchi on February 23. On February 10, Akash Deep earned his first call-up to the Indian Test squad for the remaining three matches against England. The news broke during a Ranji Trophy match against Kerala, where Akash Deep was actively contributing on the field. The announcement circulated swiftly within the Bengal dressing room, reaching the ears of the 27-year-old bowler stationed in the deep fielding position.
Despite the immense delight, Akash Deep revealed that his selection wasn’t entirely unexpected. His consistent and commendable performances for India A against England Lions in unofficial Test matches had caught the selectors’ attention. Chief selector Ajith Agarkar was notably impressed by the fast bowler’s display, adding credibility to his inclusion in the Test squad. In response to his call-up, Akash Deep expressed his happiness, stating, ‘I am happy, and it’s every cricketer’s dream to play for the country. Having won the selection, it is my responsibility to justify it. I am confident I can deliver for India if selected for the Test matches. It is like believing in your ability and doing things right. I have been performing well in the last few seasons for Bengal.’
Acknowledging the healthy competition among fast bowlers in the Bengal squad, Akash Deep noted that expecting the call-up wasn’t surprising for him. He emphasized the need to consistently perform at a high level to secure a spot in the national team. Grateful for the support he received throughout his career, Akash Deep extended his gratitude to those who played a crucial role in his cricketing journey. Bengal’s consistent wicket-taker in domestic cricket, Akash Deep’s selection was seen as a natural progression.
As part of the Test squad against England, Akash Deep joins a formidable lineup led by Rohit Sharma and vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah. The team also features key players such as Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Rajat Patidar, and others, promising an exciting series ahead.