Yuvraj Singh returns to Indian squad; Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir ignored
Zee Media Bureau
Chennai: Yuvraj Singh has been included into the squad announced by the BCCI on Monday for the upcoming limited overs series against Australia in October.
Yuvraj last played for India on January 27 against England at Dharamsala and was dropped subsequently due to a poor run of form.
Having undergone a rigorous physical training in France, a fitter Yuvraj made his comeback into the competitive cricket with a bang scoring 123, 40 and 61 in three List A matches against the West Indies A followed by a quickfire 52 against the same opponent in a T20 game.
He carried on with his good form in the Challenger Series where he scored 84 against India Red and a 29 in the final.
With his more than useful left-arm spin as back-up, Yuvraj is certain to play an important role in that Indian bowling line-up in the middle overs.
Yuvraj replaced Dinesh Karthik, who didn't do much since his comeback save a lone half century in the Champions Trophy.
Opener Murali Vijay, who hasn't set the limited overs stage on fire was also dropped from the squad announced by the selection committee headed by Sandeep Patil.
One of the notable exclusions was pacer Umesh Yadav, who didn't do his case a world of good by performing poorly in the Challenger Series giving away 67 runs in 10 overs and a whopping 85 runs in 9 overs respectively in the two matches he played for India Red.
Bengal speedster Mohammed Shami, seasoned Karnataka seamer Ranganath Vinay Kumar and promising Saurashtra left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat were retained from the pace attack that played its last international series in Zimbabwe.
Haryana paceman Mohit Sharma was dropped from the squad while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma made a comeback after well deserved rest. Bhuvneshwar bowled India Blue to Challenger Series triumph with a four-wicket haul in the final.
Young Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Perveez Rasool made way for senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin while Amit Mishra held on to his place in the squad having taken 18 wickets in the last series against Zimbabwe.
The reserve batsman's place in the squad was a battle between Ambati Rayudu and Ajinkya Rahane with very little to choose between them.
In the end, Rayudu who now plays for Baroda in Ranji Trophy, got the nod ahead of the Mumbaikar.
According to a reliable source, the names of senior pros Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir did not even come up for discussion but the selectors will be keenly following their performance in the four-day match against the West Indies A in Hubli, Karnataka from Wednesday.
India will play one Twenty20 and seven ODIs against Australia starting October 10.
However, the selectors decided to pick the squad only for the Twenty20 and first three ODIs.
Team for T20I/3ODIs: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ambati Rayudu, Shami Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat
With PTI inputs