Tendulkar, Sehwag return for Tests against West Indies; Harbhajan ignored

Harbhajan Singh was ignored for the Test series against West Indies Getty Images

Kolkata: Oct 28, 2011

Senior trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh returned to the Indian squad while Harbhajan Singh was ignored for the first Test against the West Indies to be held in New Delhi next month.

Tamil Nadu off-spinner R Ashwin found a place in the 15-member squad picked by the Krish Srikkanth-led selection committee here, which also has four other new faces in Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Ajinkya Rahane and leg-spinner Rahul Sharma.

Tendulkar, Sehwag and Yuvraj, who missed the ODI series in England as well as the return rubber at home due to injuries, were recalled for the November 6-10 match at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground.

After his below-par performance in the tour of England, out-of-form off-spinner Harbhajan continued to remain in the sidelines with the selectors preferring Ashwin over him.

Right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma, who was also not a part of India’s ODI squad against England due to an injury, returned to the team to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Among those who did not find a place in the Test squad that visited England this summer were left-handed batsman Suresh Raina, leg-spinner Amit Mishra and pacer Praveen Kumar.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who toured England for the Test series, managed to retain his place as also young right-handed batsman Virat Kohli.

Senior batsmen Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who no longer play ODIs, were also named in the squad, announced by BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale through a release.

The squad has eight specialist batsmen, three spinners, three pacers with Dhoni as the lone wicketkeeper.

Srikkanth said the selectors had chosen the best available squad and hoped the players would do well against the West Indies.

“We have the best team. Definitely, we think of the future point of view. We have to look at building the side from future perspective. You have seen the results yourself.

When we gave opportunity to the youngsters they won series (against England) 5-0,” he said.

“We are confident that this particular team will do well in the Test match,” he added.

Srikkanth said that Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Ishant Sharma have fully recovered from their injuries.

“Everybody is 100 per cent fit, you can be rest assured about that. Everybody has started playing for their respective states. I can assure you that fitness will not be a concern.”

He said the committee had a detailed discussion along with captain Dhoni in picking the squad.

“We have taken everybody into consideration, we had a detailed discussions with the captain, coach and secretary. We had all the selectors in the meeting and we had a healthy discussion,” he said.

Asked about the reason behind Harbhajan ommission from the squad, Srikkanth said, “These are selection related issues. We cannot discuss these matters here. These are internal matters of the selection committee”

He said that selectors have also discussed about India’s upcoming tour of Australia in today’s meeting.

“We discussed a lot about the Australian tour also and what should be the way forward,” the chief selector said.

“The one good thing that has come out of the one-day series (against England) is that we have a very healthy competition which is always good for Indian cricket. We can assure you that there are a good days ahead for Indian cricket,” Srikkanth insisted. (PTI)

Squad:

MS Dhoni (c&wk), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Virat Kohli, Varun Aaron, Rahul Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane.