Yuvraj Singh back in Test squad against England (Lead)December 4th, 2008 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Dec 4 (IANS) The selectors sprang no surprises while announcing a 15-member Indian team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the two-Test cricket series against England that begin here Dec 11.The only two changes, largely expected, were the inclusion of Yuvraj Singh for the retired Sourav Ganguly and of left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha who replaced left-arm seamer Rudra Pratap Singh.
The first Test will be played here from Dec 11-15 and the second at Mohali from Dec 19-23.
However, the tour is still to be confirmed as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is awaiting a final clearance from its security advisor Reg Dickason who is currently assessing the security arrangements at the two venues in the light of last week’s terrorist attack in Mumbai.
The Mumbai incidents saw England, down 0-5 in the ODI series, returning home with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) calling off the remaining two games.
Attending the selection committee meeting were chairman Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Yashpal Sharma (north), Narendra Hirwani (central), Surinder Bhave (west), Raja Venkat (east), skipper Dhoni and BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan.
Yuvraj’s induction was expected in the wake of his outstanding performances in the recent ODI series that made him a candidate for the slot occupied by Ganguly.
Ojha’s call too hardly raised an eyebrow with the selectors obviously opting for an additional spinner to a paceman.
There was also speculation over the two Tamil Nadu batsmen Murali Vijay and Subramanium Badrinath with some sections believing that only one of the two would eventually make it to the team.
Vijay was a last minute replacement for Gambhir who missed the Nagpur Test against Australia while serving a one-Test ban for misdemeanour while Badrinath did not get to play in any of the four Tests against the Aussies.
With Gambhir back in the squad and as also Yuvraj, it is a moot point whether Vijay or Badrinath would get a chance to play in the series.
The team that was announced after the 30-minute meeting here is as follows:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Amit Mishra, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Murali Vijay and Subramaniam Badrinath.