Harbhajan still out for India

2011-11-26 12:39
Harbhajan Singh (File)

New Delhi - India recalled fragile pace spearhead Zaheer Khan on Saturday for the Australia tour pending a fitness test, but continued to ignore seasoned spinner Harbhajan Singh.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead the 17-man squad with Virender Sehwag as his deputy for the four-Test series starting next month, the Indian cricket board said in a media release.

Injury-prone Zaheer, 33, has been sidelined since damaging a hamstring on the opening day of the Test series in England in July and later also underwent ankle surgery.

The left-armer's injury triggered a free-fall by the Indians, who were blanked 4-0 in the Test series to lose their No 1 ranking to the hosts, before being humbled 3-0 in the one-dayers.

Zaheer, who has been training at the nets for the last month, must prove his fitness in two first-class games for Mumbai before his selection is confirmed.

India will hope Zaheer, who has 273 wickets from 79 Tests, is declared fit because the rest of the bowling attack is very inexperienced.

Apart from fellow-seamer Ishant Sharma, who has played 41 Tests, the remaining five specialist bowlers have just 26 Test appearances between them.

Harbhajan, whose 406 wickets in 98 Tests make him the most successful international bowler still playing at the top level, has been out of favour since the dismal tour of England.

The 31-year-old off-spinner bagged just two wickets at an average of 143.50 in the two Tests he played there before heading home with an abdominal strain.

Harbhajan, who has fully recovered from the injury, has been involved in domestic cricket and also captained the Mumbai Indians to the title in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has replaced Harbhajan for the home series against the West Indies, picked up 22 wickets in the three Tests to confirm his place for the Australian tour.

The squad includes two batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, without Test experience, while reserve wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and fast bowler Varun Aaron have played only one match each.

India open the three-month tour on December 15 with two practice matches in Canberra ahead of the first Test starting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26.

The remaining Tests will be played in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide.

This will be followed by two Twenty20 internationals, before Sri Lanka join in for a one-day tri-series from February 5.

The Indian team for the limited-overs leg of the tour will be named later.

India's Test squad:

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Praveen Kumar.

Coach: Duncan Fletcher (ZIM)

Read more on:    bcci  |  zaheer khan  |  harbhajan singh


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs

We're down to the semi-finals of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Who do you see winning the title when all is said and done?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.