Mumbai: The selectors have announced the team for first two tests against Australia and out of form Gautam Gambhir was shown the door. Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan would replace Gambhir in the team. Gambhir will replace Dhawan in the India ‘A’ side for the three-day game against Australia, which is to be played from Feb 16-18.
Mumbai opener Ajinkya Rahane and Uttar Pradesh medium-fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar have also been included in the squad. Out of form Virender Sehwag has also been given another chance to prove his critics wrong.
The 32-year-old Harbhajan, who was dropped from the team after the lost third Test against England in November, has been brought back, keeping in mind his excellent record against Australia.
The off-spinner, who has 408 wickets in 99 Tests, is a proven performer against the Australians especially on the dustbowls at home and that reputation alone seems to have worked for him given that his domestic form this season has hardly been impressive.
In absence of Irfan Pathan, the all-rounder’s slot has once again gone to Ravindra Jadeja with the selectors deciding against picking Suresh Raina, who had made his case with a hundred and 70 plus in the Irani Cup.
The 28-year-old Vijay, on the other hand, had cracked a century in the ongoing Irani Cup match against Mumbai.
India and Australia would play a four-match Test series, starting at Chennai on February 22.
Squad: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Virender Sehwag, M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashok Dinda
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