Virender Sehwag will lead Rest of India against Ranji champions Mumbai in the Irani Cup tie to be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai from February 6 to 10.
The Sandeep Patil-headed Senior Selection Committee, which met here on Tuesday afternoon, also picked senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh along with returning paceman S Sreesanth. While Sehwag, who was ignored for the just-concluded one-day series against England after a series of flops, will hope to make the most of the opportunity ahead of the four-Test series against Australia, his Delhi-mate Gautam Gambhir has not been included in the side.
The struggling left-hander doesn’t also figure either in Board President’s XI or in India ‘A’, who will take on the visiting Australians in two practice games in Chennai in the run up to the first Test at the MA Chidambaram stadium from February 22.
Veteran paceman Zaheer Khan is still recuperating from injury while Umesh Yadav is yet to submit his fitness certificate to the board.
Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund will lead Board President’s XI in the two-day warm-up match to be played on February 13 and 14. Karnataka opener Robin Uthappa and his State-mate and all-rounder Stuart Binny have also been rewarded for their consistent show in the Ranji Trophy with a place in the President’s XI.
Another Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan has been named the captain of India ‘A’ squad which will play a three-day practice match from February 16 to 18 in Chennai. Mumbai duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma has been included in the team while Karnataka’s prolific scorer this season, CM Gautam, will don the wicketkeeper’s job. The tie also marks the return of paceman R Vinay Kumar who had been sidelined after a hamstring injury.
The squads: Rest of India (for Irani Cup): Virender Sehwag (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Harbhajan Singh, S Sreesanth, Pragyan Ojha, Ishwar Pandey, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ambati Rayudu, Shami Ahmed, Jalaj Saxena.
Board President’s XI (for two-day match against Australians): Abhinav Mukund (captain), Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Parthiv Patel (wk), Stuart Binny, Sarabjit Ladda, Parvez Rassol, Shami Ahmed, Parvinder Awana, Kamlesh Makwana.
India ‘A’ (for three-day match against Australians): Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Jiwanjot Singh, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Ajinkya Rahane, CM Gautam (wk), Rakesh Dhruv, Jalaj Saxena, Manpreet Gony, R Vinay Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ashok Menaria.