Dhawal, Balaji in Test squad for New Zealand series (Lead)February 13th, 2009 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Feb 13 (IANS) Mumbai pacer Dhawal Kulkarni is the only new face in the 16-member Indian Test squad scheduled to tour New Zealand while Tamil Nadu paceman Lakshmipathy Balaji is back in the team after a prolonged injury-enforced break.
Also returning to the Indian squad is off-spinner Harbhajan Singh who missed the recent tour of Sri Lanka owing to injury, while wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik figures in all the three squads as a cover for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The national selection committee that met here Friday announced the Indian teams for the three Test matches, five ODIs and two Twenty20 matches for the New Zealand series starting Feb 25.
The tour commences with two T20 games on Feb 25 and 27, followed by the ODI series (March 3, 6, 8, 11, 14) and the Test matches (March 18-22, March 26-30, April 3-7).
For the Test matches, Kulkarni and Balaji fortify the seam attack that also includes frontline bowlers Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Munaf Patel, keeping in mind the expected seamer-friendly conditions in New Zealand.
The selectors thus made two changes in the team that beat England 1-0 in the two-Test series last year. Balaji replaces left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha who was in the squad but did not make his Test debut and Kulkarni comes in for middle-order batsman Subramaniam Badrinath.
The ODI and the T20 teams are the same with the exception of Sachin Tendulkar replacing Ravindra Jadeja for the 50-over format.
Kulkarni, who was the top wicket-taker along with Jadeja in the just-concluded Ranji Trophy tournament with 42 wickets, has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks after consistent performances with the India A team besides Mumbai and West Zone.
Balaji, who replaced an injured Munaf Patel in the ODI series against Sri Lanka earlier this month, underlined his fitness with 36 wickets in seven Ranji games this season after recovering from a stress fracture that kept him away for three seasons.
The 27-year-old seamer returned to mainstream cricket last year when he played for Tamil Nadu in the Subbaiah Pillai one-day tournament and the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League T20 tournament with an overhauled run-up and action.
In the process, Balaji proved wrong his detractors who had written him off and has since worked hard to regain his form and fitness that had made him a frontline India bowler four years ago.
Twenty20: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Munaf Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar and Dinesh Karthik.
ODI series: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh and Dinesh Karthik.
Tests: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Murali Vijay, Amit Mishra, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Dhawal Kulkarni and Dinesh Karthik.
Manager: Niranjan Shah (for T20 and ODI series)
- Yuvraj included in World T20 preliminary squad - Jul 18, 2012
- Indian cricket team leaves for West Indies - Jun 01, 2011
- Seniors rested, Gambhir to lead ODI side against New Zealand - Nov 21, 2010
- World Cup probables announced - Dec 18, 2010
- Balaji back in Test squad, Kulkarni surprise pick for New Zealand tour - Feb 13, 2009
- Tendulkar, Zaheer back in ODI fold, Irfan retained (Lead) - Jan 15, 2012
- World Cup: Selectors to pick 15-member Indian team Monday - Jan 14, 2011
- Gambhir, Yuvraj ruled out from West Indies series - May 27, 2011
- Six changes in India squad for England, Sehwag to join later - Jul 02, 2011
- Ishant dropped, Chawla in for ODI series against Proteas - Dec 21, 2010
- Dravid, Irfan not among World Cup probables (Lead) - Dec 18, 2010
- Dravid recalled to ODI squad after two years - Aug 06, 2011
- Seniors rested for Zimbabwe tour, Raina to lead - May 09, 2010
- Board's Grade A contract for Yuvraj, Ishant and Virat - Oct 29, 2011
- Tendulkar, Harbhajan rested; Yuvraj recalled in ODI squad - Jul 31, 2010