Maiden call-up for Binny

Yuvraj dropped; Varun, Pandey replace Mohit, Ojha

Maiden call-up for Binny

All-rounder Yuvraj Singh was axed from India’s ODI squad owing to his poor performance in South Africa even as Ishwar Pandey and Stuart Binny got their maiden call-ups for India’s tour of New Zealand starting with a one-day series from January 19.

Yuvraj got out to a second-ball duck the only time he came out to bat in the lost three-match ODI series against South Africa. He was replaced by Stuart Binny, son of former India all-rounder Roger Binny, currently a member of the selection panel.

Binny, 29, has played 53 first-class matches for Karnataka and scored 2714 runs at an average of 34.79, besides taking 79 wickets.

Another surprise inclusion in the team was Madhya Pradesh seamer Ishwar Pandey, who has been drafted into both the ODI and Test squad.

Fit-again pacer Varun Aaron, 24, has made a comeback to the ODI squad replacing Mohit Sharma, who failed to impress in South Africa. If he makes it to the final XI of the five-match ODI series against New Zealand, it would be Aaron’s first 50-over appearance for India after 2011. The Test team was not altered too much with Ishwar coming in place of Pragyan Ojha being the only change made to the 17-member squad for the two-match series against the Kiwis starting February 10 in Auckland after a two-day practice match.

Interestingly, Ojha did not get a single game in the two-match series against South Africa which India lost 0-1.

The 24-year-old Ishwar, who replaces Ojha, has played 31 first-class matches, grabbing 131 wickets at an average of 24.43.

The rest of the Test line-up has been left untouched with R Ashwin, who did not impress much with his bowling, holding on to his place despite the conditions in New Zealand being not too conducive for slow bowlers.

While Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli picked themselves after fine performances in the trying tour of South Africa, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have managed to retain the selectors’ faith despite coming a cropper.

Senior pacer Zaheer Khan would once again spearhead the Indian pace attack in Tests with Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami and Pandey to support him on the seaming tracks of New Zealand.

The ODI squad also sports a pace-heavy look but the spearhead’s role would be taken over by Ishant as Zaheer will not play in the five-match series.

PTI

Test squad: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishwar Pandey.

ODI squad: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ambati Rayudu, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron, Amit Mishra.

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