Monday, June 28, 2010
The national selection committee, which met here on Saturday, decided to recall Yuvraj Singh for the three-Test series in Sri Lanka beginning next month.
Yuvraj missed India's most recent Test series — against South Africa at home in February — with a ligament injury. The left-hander was later dropped from the one-day squad for the Asia Cup because of poor fitness and form — a decision that raised questions about his immediate future.
The selectors appear to have answered those questions by picking Yuvraj as one of eight specialist batsmen in the 16-member squad. Yuvraj did his cause no harm by training at the NCA during his time out of international cricket to improve his fitness.
Also returning to the squad, after an injury-enforced absence, is Rahul Dravid, who missed the series against South Africa after being hit by a rising delivery on the tour of Bangladesh.
At the wrong end
The return of Yuvraj and Dravid has forced S. Badrinath out. The middle-order batsman from Tamil Nadu again finds himself at the wrong end of a difficult decision with the selectors preferring Suresh Raina, who was part of the squad for the second Test against South Africa in Kolkata.
Badrinath made a gutsy half-century on debut in difficult conditions against Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in Nagpur. But single-digit scores in his two other innings and Raina's consistent performance in the limited-overs arena appear to have cost Badrinath.
The only other change to the squad selected for the Kolkata Test is the inclusion of Wriddhiman Saha as captain M.S. Dhoni's understudy with the gloves.
Saha, who was dropped after making his debut as a batsman in the first Test against South Africa following Rohit Sharma's freak injury on the morning of the match, replaces the man who had replaced him in the squad for the second Test — Dinesh Karthik.
The selectors chose to retain the bowling unit picked against South Africa although two of its members, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth, lost favour in the shorter forms of the game.
India will look to reverse the result of its last Test series in Sri Lanka, which it lost 1-2. The first Test gets underway in Galle on July 18. The second and third Tests, both to be played in Colombo, are scheduled to start on July 26 and August 3 respectively.
The squad: M.S. Dhoni (capt. & wk), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag (vice-capt.), M. Vijay, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, S. Sreesanth, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, and Wriddhiman Saha (wk).
Friday, June 25, 2010
out-of-favour Yuvraj Singh may return for the three-Test away series against Sri
Lanka next month, sources said a day ahead of the team selection for the Test
Yuvraj, who was dropped from the Asia Cup squad for lack of
form and fitness, had also missed the two-match Test series against South Africa
in February due to injury. "There is a 90% chance of Yuvraj coming back into the
Test team for the Sri Lanka series," a team source told TOI.
Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma are also expected to make the cut. Sachin Tendulkar,
of course, is available for the series, and Virender Sehwag is expected to
recover in time from the hamstring injury which curtailed his participation in
the Asia Cup.
With Zaheer Khan, Ishant and Sreesanth in the team, the
debate will be on whether to pick a fourth pacer or a third spinner. Leggie Amit
Mishra is expected to make it and the selectors may opt for Pragyan Ojha instead
of another pacer.
Middle-order batsman Suresh Raina, who was in the
Test team for the South Africa series, will also make it to the
"Nothing is decided, but there will be a discussion on whether
to have a fourth pacer or a third spinner," team insiders told TOI on