Bhajji dropped, Dravid makes surprise comeback
New Delhi: Harbhajan Singh has been dropped from Indian ODI and T20 squad for the series against England, while senior batsman Rahul Dravid made a surprise comeback to the team after a gap of two years.
Test specialist Dravid played his last ODI for India during the Champions Trophy in South Africa in 2009. During the tournament the veteran batsman struggled with the bat, failing to give any kind of momentum to the team during the middle overs.
Yuvraj Singh, who was ruled out of the Test series and is still nursing an injury, has not been considered for the series.
Yuvraj`s absence would hurt World Champion India as he was in terrific form during the World Cup. His superb performance with both the bat and ball, helped him earn the man of the tournament award.
Virender Sehwag was named vice-captain of the 16-member team which included limited-overs specialists- R Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, R Vinay Kumar, Parthiv Patel.
In-form Dravid’s inclusion into the limited-overs team came at a time when most of the batsmen from the younger generation struggled against the English pace bowlers.
Dravid, who made two back-to-back centuries, was the only batsman who looked at ease against the short stuff hurled by the Anderson and Co. during the four-match Test series which India trail by 0-2.
But the biggest news was the exclusion of champion spinner Harbhajan Singh, who struggled with the ball during the first two Tests against England. He claimed only 2 England wickets in the first two Tests.
Big-hitting allrounder Yusuf Pathan, who had ordinary outings in the World Cup and during the West Indies tour, has also not been considered.
Paceman S Sreesanth, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha failed to find favour with the five-man selection panel which packed the team with five specialist pacemen and two spinners in Amit Mishra and R Ashwin.
Tendulkar, who often skips one-dayers, has been included in the team.
Squad for ODIs and T20s: MS Dhoni (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, R Ashwin, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Parthiv Patel.