Mumbai, Nov 6 (): BCCI selectors yesterday selected and named 15 players for first two tests of the four-match test series against England scheduled to start on November 15 in Ahmedabad.
Harbhajan Singh, who was dropped after India lost 0-4 against England last year, Yuvraj Singh and batsman Murali Vijay have been recalled for the Indian team. Vijay replaced S Badrinath, who featured in the last Test against New Zealand in August.
Yuvraj, who recovered from rare germ cell cancer, has been replaced in place of Suresh Raina. Yuvraj made his international cricket comeback in Twenty20 match in September. He scored a half-century and took five wickets against England for India ‘A’ in Mumbai last week.
The new selection committee chose three spinners Harbhajan Singh, Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha in the 15-member squad. Harbhajan Singh, who took 406 in 98 Tests is included in the squad since August last year.
The senior most player Sachin Tendulkar will have to play an anchor role in the inexperienced middle order. Murali Vijay will be the standby opener. Ajinkya Rahane has been selected as a middle-order batsman, told the chief selector 56-year-old Sandeep Patil. Middle-order batsman Suresh Raina, who played against New Zealand in August 2012, was dropped.
The Indian team has seven specialist batsmen, three fast bowlers and three spinners along with captain-wicketkeeper-batsman M S Dhoni.
Sandeep Patil said “We have good established cricketers in the team. The opportunities will come for the youngsters.”
The India – England series first test starts in Ahmedabad on November 15, the second Test in Mumbai on November 23. The third Test will be in Kolkata on December 5 and the last match will be scheduled in Nagpur on December 13.
India’s Test squad: MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Murali Vijay, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma.