The Indian selectors on Friday announced India’s Test team for the West Indies tour. And there is bad news. As if the absence of stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag wasn’t bad enough, comes news that Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh will also not be available for the entire series. It will be thus be an almost new look team that will be travelling to the West Indies. India will thus be missing six seniors for their T20 international and five ODI matches.
While Gambhir will miss the entire tour due to his shoulder injury, Yuvraj has been rested since he’s suffering from a respiratory infection. The selectors have meanwhile acceded to Tendulkar’s request of being allowed to spend time with his family and has not been included in the Test squad. The Master Blaster had been rested for the T20 and ODI series. Cheteshwar Pujara, who is injured, has also doesn’t find a place in the Test team.
Young Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund gets into the Test squad in place of the injured Gambhir. Interestingly, Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay, Parthiv Patel and S Badrinath also get a look-in in the Test team.
Gambhir’s absence means Suresh Raina will lead the squad in the ODI series and one-off T20 international. Harbhajan Singh will be his deputy. Shikhar Dhawan and Manoj Tiwary have been included in the side to replace Gambhir and Yuvraj for the ODIs.
The team for the Tests beginning June 20 at Kingston has MS Dhoni returning to his role as skipper while VVS Laxman has been named his deputy. India’s pace spearhead Zaheer Khan will join the team after the ODIs.
Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the chairman of selectors, was confident that the team was the best possible one. He added that the selection was made keeping in mind vital inputs from newly appointed coach Duncan Fletcher.
Test squad: MS Dhoni (capt), VVS Laxman (vc), M Vijay, Abhinav Mukund, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, S Badrinath, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel.
ODI & T20I squad: Suresh Raina (capt), R Ashwin, S Badrinath, Harbhajan Singh (vc), Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Manoj Tiwary, Shikhar Dhawan.