New Delhi: Veteran batting stalwart Rahul Dravid, who was drafted into the Indian team after a gap for 2 years to negate South Africa’s bouncy tracks for the Champions Trophy, was unceremoniously dropped from the squad announced for the first 2 one-dayers against Australia staring in October.
Dravid, who doled out reasonable performances in South Africa and in the Sri Lanka tri-series prior to that, was the most prominent omission.
The other notable omission is that of RP Singh, who would be replaced by greenhorn Sudeep Tyagi.
As expected, Yusuf Pathan too got the axe. Ravidra Jadeja was given a look-in instead.
Ishant Sharma retains his place in the side after impressive performances in the just concluded Challenger Trophy.
Meanwhile, Yuvraj Singh has been drafted into the squad as of now. His participation would depend on the outcome of a fitness test that he would undergo on 25th October, ie- just before the first ODI.
Virender Sehwag too returns after a 6 month gap to bolster the fragile top-order.
Dinesh Karthik was unlucky to miss the cut as the selectors decided to go with just one wicket-keeper- Mahendra Singh Dhoni, for the home series.
The India-Australia tussle is being seen as a face-off between 2 of the most consistent teams in recent times.
Interestingly, India’s descent to the top of the ladder in one-dayers had begun with their victory in the Commonwealth Bank series Down Under over Australia in February 2008.
India’s stock, since then, rose steadily and are now unbeaten in their past five bi-lateral series.
The last time they lost an ODI rubber incidentally was to Australia, in October 2007.
The latest installment to this blossoming rivalry kicks off on October 25th at Vadodara.
Team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Ashish Nehra, Sudeep Tyagi and Ishant Sharma