The Indian squad for the most anticipated test series of the summer in England has been announced. All the big names featured including injury prone Sehwag though he might be joining the squad only after 2 weeks. But after showing a series of poor run in the first 3 innings in the Caribbean Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli have been axed out of the 17 member squad.
The squad: MS Dhoni (capt), Gautam Gambhir (vice-captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Abhinav Mukund, Wriddhiman Saha, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar.
One cannot argue that a steady 48 saved the spot in England for the Abinav Mukund. Though he did not contribute in the first 3 innings, he looked solid and had the ability to adapt to the conditions quickly. That was something Vijay certainly lacked and it was a good decision to go with Mukund. Despite injury, Sehwag had his name in the list and definitely he would not want to miss out this all important tour. Yuvraj Singh is back into the playing 11 but his position still is under watch as Raina is just behind him. The bowling has been emphasized a little more this time and certainly Praveen Kumar could not be left out. Though Sreesanth, Munaf and Praveen will fight for one spot, there could be a chance for a 5th regular bowler too if the conditions demand so. I was about to say Kholi could silence critics and score a hundred after a good start on the 5th day’s play but sadly I had to type this seeing his dismissal and the selectors just had this in their mind in advance. Another twist in the tale is Saha who has been brought in as a reserve keeper when Parthiv Patel was chosen as the reserve keeper for the Caribbean test series. Probably, the net session could have influenced this choice and Duncan Flethcher could have played a major role. But Pujara has been definitely missing and he is a natural test player and impressed in his first test.