India drop Harbhajan Singh

2011-10-29 07:54
Harbhajan Singh (File)

New Delhi - Experienced spinner Harbhajan Singh was dropped Friday from the Indian squad for the first of three Test matches against the West Indies.

The Indian cricket board made the announcement in a press release.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who was Harbhajan's spin partner during a recent tour of England where they lost 4-0 in Test matches, was also not picked in the 15-man squad.

Harbhajan, who has taken 406 wickets in 98 games, struggled on the tour of England where he could only manage one wicket in each of two Tests.

The off-spinner returned home after the first two Tests because of a stomach strain and missed the remaining two Tests, a five-game one-day series and a Twenty20 game.

The 31-year-old was subsequently dropped from a limited overs series against England at home.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and uncapped leg-spinner Rahul Sharma form the new spin attack.

Selectors also opted for pace as they picked Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav to back Ishant Sharma, who returned from an ankle injury.

Seamers Praveen Kumar and Shantakumaran Sreesanth were not picked despite the absence of Zaheer Khan who is nursing hamstring and ankle injuries.

While the selectors made several changes to the bowling attack, they opted for a tested batting lineup as Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh returned from injuries.

Gautam Gambhir, who was also injured during the tour of England, has already returned to the national side for one-dayers and now features in the Test squad.

Virat Kohli was preferred over middle-order batsman Suresh Raina while Ajinkya Rahane emerged as the stand-by opener for Sehwag and Gambhir.

The first Test will be played in New Delhi from November 6-10. It will be followed by Tests in Kolkata and Mumbai and a series of five one-dayers.

Indian Test squad:

Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron.

Read more on:    bcci  |  harbhajan singh

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