India pick new pace bowler
New Delhi - India named rookie paceman Ishwar Pandey in both the Test and one-day squads for their tour of New Zealand Tuesday, but left out senior pros Yuvraj Singh and Pragyan Ojha.
Pandey, 24, was the highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy first-class tournament in 2012-13, with 48 wickets at an average of 21.06 for the Madhya Pradesh state team.
The right-arm bowler has already picked up 30 scalps in eight matches this season, including a best of eight for 84 against Railways on his home ground in Indore.
Pandey will be part of a six-man pace attack, led by the veteran Zaheer Khan, for the two Test matches expected to be played on green, seaming wickets in New Zealand.
He replaces Ojha from the squad that lost the recent Test series in South Africa 1-0, even though the left-arm spinner did not play any of the two matches.
Cancer survivor Yuvraj, who was man of the tournament during India's victorious World Cup campaign in 2011, was omitted from the one-day squad after a string of poor performances.
The left-hander managed just 19 runs in four matches in the home series against Australia in October-November, and was dismissed for zero in the only innings he played in South Africa.
Yuvraj will be replaced by another new face, Stuart Binny, 29, an all-rounder like his 1983 World Cup winning father Roger Binny.
Fast bowler Varun Aaron, 24, returns to the one-day arena after being sidelined for two years due to a recurring back injury. He has played one Test and four one-dayers.
The five one-day internationals in New Zealand will be played between January 19 and Jan 31. This will be followed by two Tests in Auckland (February 6-10) and Wellington (February 14-18).
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kolhi, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Ambati Rayudu, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Ishwar Pandey.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ambati Rayudu, Ishant Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Varun Aaron.