Zaheer set to return to Test team; Nehra may get nod


Zaheer, who returned to first-class cricket recently after undergoing shoulder surgery, is set to bolster India’s pace attack. The selection panel will be keen to have Zaheer’s experience and expertise, which will be crucial if India are to stretch their record of not losing a Test match to Sri Lanka in 14 previous encounters at home.

Fellow left-arm pacer Nehra will also hope to be back in Test cricket, having played the last of his 17 matches in 2004 against Pakistan in Rawalpindi. What brightens Nehra’s prospects is the steep decline of gangling pacer Ishant Sharma.

The experienced duo of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman will lend solidity to the middle-order that looked vulnerable in the 50-over format.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni will retain the captaincy but will be under the scanner for his leadership qualities following India’s poor displays in the World Twenty20 in England, the Champions Trophy in South Africa and the home series against Australia.

Virender Sehwag’s return to big-time cricket after an injury lay-off because of a shoulder problem has not been very fruitful, but the Delhi dasher will retain his opening slot.

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