Sachin, Yuvi, Gambhir to miss WI tour; Raina to lead in ODIs

Sachin, Yuvi, Gambhir to miss WI tour; Raina to lead in ODIs

Virat Kohli, Abhinav Mukund in Test squad, Parthiv returns

Sachin, Yuvi, Gambhir to miss WI tour; Raina to lead in ODIs

Sachin Tendulkar’s request to be rested from the Test series too in the Caribbean has been approved by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, paving the way for the uncapped Virat Kohli to force his way into the 16-man Test team picked by the national selectors here on Friday.

The 22-year-old Kohli and 21-year-old left-handed Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund, who made 1211 first-class runs last season, are the two new faces in the Test squad which sees the return of the consistent S Badrinath for the first time since he played last year against South Africa in Kolkata.

It may be recalled that earlier this month, the selectors had rested Tendulkar, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and paceman Zaheer Khan for the one-off T20 international and the five-match one-day series preceding the Test series.

The absence through injury of regular vice-captain Virender Sehwag and his opening partner Gautam Gambhir has driven Krishnamachari Srikkanth’s panel to name the experienced VVS Laxman as deputy to Dhoni for the three-Test series, starting in Kingston on June 20. An already weakened one-day squad received further blows with Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh both withdrawn due to fitness issues. Gambhir has a shoulder injury and Yuvraj has contracted a lung infection, forcing both left-handers out of the entire tour.

Suresh Raina has been elevated as limited-overs skipper in Gambhir’s absence with Harbhajan Singh named the vice-captain. Delhi’s Shikhar Dhawan and Kolkata right-hander Manoj Tiwary, both of whom have played for India in the past, have been called up to the limited-overs squad as replacements for Gambhir and Yuvraj. Apart from Tendulkar’s decision to ask for leave of absence from the entire tour, there were few surprises in the Test squad once the list of those unavailable was formalised. Parthiv Patel’s return to the Test fold was predictable given that he can complement his second stumper’s task with the reserve opener’s role, while the selectors kept faith with the tried and tested pace bowlers and opted for Pragyan Ojha’s left-arm spin ahead of R Ashwin’s off-spin.

In a press release, BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said, “Sachin Tendulkar requested that he be allowed to spend time with his family. He will therefore not play the Test series (in the West Indies), However, he will be available for the full tour of England that follows.
“Gautam Gambhir will be unavailable for the full tour on account of his shoulder injury.

Yuvraj Singh will also be unavailable for the full tour. He is suffering from upper respiratory tract infection with a small patch of pneumonitis in the left lung. Suresh Raina will lead the ODI and T20 squads with Harbhajan Singh as his deputy. Shikhar Dhawan and Manoj Tiwary have been named replacements for Gambhir and Yuvraj for the T20 and the ODIs.”

Test squad

MS Dhoni (captain)
VVS Laxman
Rahul Dravid
Virat Kohli
Suresh Raina
S Badrinath
Harbhajan Singh
Zaheer Khan
S Sreesanth
Ishant Sharma
Amit Mishra
S Badrinath
Parthiv Patel
Munaf Patel
Abhinav Mukund
M Vijay