Sehwag, Zaheer make a comeback, axe for Pathan brothers & Praveen Kumar, Sachin rested

Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan make a comeback, while all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf and Irfan Pathan and Praveen Kumar have been dropped from the Indian team heading to Sri Lanka later this month for a five-match One-day series and a Twenty20 International. Top-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who was unfortunate to miss out on the Asia Cup in March this year, is back in the team.

The national selection committee met on Wednesday afternoon to pick a 15-member squad for the tour which has Sachin Tendulkar, holidaying this month, missing from the squad, says a report in The Times Of India.

The middle-order consisting Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Manoj Tiwary retain themselves with Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the helm. Sehwag and Gambhir, as regular openers, have once again been paired together.

Meanwhile according to a report in Indian Express, On the face of it the selection committee meeting held in Mumbai on Wednesday to pick the team for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka was a routine affair that lasted about 90 minutes. But the composition of squad indicates that this might possibly be the harbinger of change in strategy.
With only specialists — seven batsmen, three spinners and a wicket-keeper — making it to the 15-member squad there was no place for utility all-rounders. This comes on the back of a mediocre show in Australia and the failure to reach the final of the Asia Cup.

Opener Virender Sehwag and strike bowler Zaheer Khan were brought back to the limited-overs fold after missing the Asia Cup. Opening batsman Ajinkya Rahane was picked as Sachin Tendulkar made himself unavailable. But all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja, Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan didn’t fit into the new scheme of things. Yusuf and Irfan were part of the Asia Cup squad.

Jadeja’s exclusion was along expected lines as his form has dipped since the tour of Australia. But instead of picking a player with similar skills — one who can score quick runs and also roll his arm over — the selectors opted for a specialist left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha. It is learnt that the selectors did consider all-rounder Jalaj Saxena, who was part of the India ‘A’ squad that toured West Indies recently, but opted for Ojha.

“We have the best available team. Sachin is not available. I think it is a very good side which has very strong batting line-up and good bowlers and we are confident that it will do well in Sri Lanka,” chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth said after announcing the squad.

The Team

MS Dhoni (capt, wk), Virat Kohli (vc), Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Vinay Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma.