Yuvraj back in India fold

2010-06-26 09:32

New Delhi - India's cricket selectors on Saturday recalled middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh in a 16-man squad for next month's Test series in Sri Lanka.

The left-hander, 28, was not part of India's recent Asia Cup winning campaign in Sri Lanka after being dropped due to poor form during the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

Yuvraj, who has scored 1 582 runs in 33 Tests at an average of 35.95 since his debut in 2003, had also missed the home series against South Africa in March due to a finger injury.

The squad, announced by the Indian cricket board after a selection meeting in Chennai, comprises a tried and trusted combination that has taken Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team to the top of the Test rankings.

Veteran batsmen Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Venkatsai Laxman make a formidable middle-order to follow openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

The selectors have picked three specialist spinners and as many seamers to deliver on the batting wickets in Sri Lanka.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh will be joined by left-armer Pragyan Ojha and leg-break bowler Amit Mishra in the spin department, while pace spearhead Zaheer Khan will be supported by Ishant Sharma and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.

One-day specialist Suresh Raina is the only player in the squad yet to play a Test. Reserve-wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha played one Test against South Africa when Dhoni was injured.

It will be the third Test series between the two nations in as many years. Sri Lanka won 2-1 at home in 2008, while India claimed the return series 2-0 last year to become the world number one side.

The Indians, who have just returned from Sri Lanka after the Asia Cup, go back to the island nation in the second week of July.

Dhoni's men begin the month-long tour with a three-day match in Colombo on July 13-15, followed by the first Test in Galle from July 18.

The action then shifts to Colombo where the second Test will be played at the Sinhalese sports club from July 26 and the third at the P. Sara Oval from August 3.

India's Test squad:

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Venkatsai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha