Harbhajan Singh may have led the Mumbai Indians to victory in the Champions League Twenty20 2011 but his charms have failed to impress the Indian selectors who have now dropped him from India’s Test squad as well.
Harbhajan Singh must feel like the situation is one he cannot fathom. That is because the last time he played Test cricket, he crossed 400 Test wickets against the West Indies and returned home midway from the England tour with an abdominal injury. Now even as he has recovered enough, his omission from India’s ODI squad in England and in India has been followed up with the selectors overlooking him for the first Test against the visiting West Indies.
The Indian cricket will look more familiar in the batting department but far from it in the bowling. There will be no Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar or Sreesanth. Instead, the likes of Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav find themselves in a strange mix wherein the spinners also are fresh faces. Ravichandran Ashwin is yet to play Test cricket as his the young Rahul Sharma. They are joined by Pragyn Ojha as the only relative senior spinner in the squad while Ishant Sharma plays that role in the fast bowling department.
The triumvirate of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman make up the senior batting with both openers, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, back in business. Yuvraj Singh finds light at the end of the tunnel as Suresh Raina feels the pain at being left out. Virat Kohli’s selection further cements the case that he is here to mean business, which should make for a few interesting decisions for the final spot.
Indian Squad for first Test v West Indies:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Virat Kohli, Varun Aaron, Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Sharma