New Delhi: Yuvraj and Gautam Gambhir were the two most talked about names ahead of BCCI's announcement of 15-man squad for England Test series.
Yuvi and Gauti were both displaying good form in Ranji Trophy but the selectors could only give nod to the latter.
While Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul's fitness woes might have contributed to Gambhir's selection, Rohit Sharma's injury could have handed Yuvraj the middle order spot he is tailor-made for.
As India's line-up for the first two Test matches is decided, following are the possible reasons why MSK Prasad and fellow selectors chose against recalling Yuvraj Singh.
1. An already balanced middle order
Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha have establish themselves in the squad and there wan's any reason to drop one of them. Rohit Sharma's absence meant Karun Nair was handed a chance but will most likely settle for the bench. The 24-year old Nair has a batting average of 52 in First Class cricket and is one of India's most promising players for future.
2. Not a reliable all-rounder in Tests
Though Yuvraj might have been one of the most reliable all-rounders for India in ODIs and T20Is in the past, he has not replicated the same performance in Tests. He averages just above 33 runs an innings in the longer format of the game and has only picked 9 wickets so far. Handing Hardik Pandya his debut call seemed like a better option to the selectors.
3. Builind a team for the future
Even during the England series, the selectors chose to snub Gautam Gambhir in the initial squad selection as they wanted to give youngsters the exposure and build a team for future. Yuvraj, also has been the victim to such mindset which can't be blamed either. If India are to build a strong Test team for future and continue ruling this format of the game, giving youngsters chances on home soil is the right call.
Here's India's complete squad for the first two Tests against England:-
Virat Kohli (capt.), R Ashwin, Gautam Gambhir, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Karun Nair, M Vijay, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Jayant Yadav
The first two matches will be played at Rajkot (Nov. 9-13), Visakapatnam (Nov. 17-21).