Pakistan in India 2004-05 February 26, 2005

Yuvraj preferred to Kaif for Test squad

Cricinfo staff

Yuvraj Singh: his hundred at lahore last year got him into this squad © Getty Images
In a minor surprise, Yuvraj Singh was included ahead of Mohammad Kaif in the 14-member Indian squad for the first Test against Pakistan. Yuvraj had been dropped from the team during India's series against Australia last year, and Kaif had played some impressive innings in the chances that he got. But the selectors preferred Yuvraj because of his performance against Pakistan last year, as well as his domestic record.

The rest of the team was along expected lines, with Sachin Tendulkar having declared himself fit and being included in the side. Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh were the two spinners picked, with Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and L Balaji to fight it out for two, or maybe three, fast-bowling slots.

Dinesh Karthik was chosen as the wicketkeeper, although Mahendra Dhoni, with a sparkling century in the recent Challengers Trophy, had been tipped by some to be a dark horse for that position. Suprisingly, Dhoni wasn't chosen for the Board President's XI squad that takes on Pakistan in the first tour game. Parthiv Patel got the nod ahead of him for the tour game.

Kaif was named to captain the BP XI, with Venugopal Rao acting as his vice-captain. Dheeraj Jadhav, Satyajit Parab and Shikhar Dhawan were the three openers in the squad, with the middle order being manned by Suresh Raina and Niraj Patel. Ramesh Powar got a look in, but Murali Kartik was left out.

Indian squad 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 Sourav Ganguly (capt), 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 Anil Kumble, 10 Harbhajan Singh, 11 Zaheer Khan, 12 Yuvraj Singh, 13 Ashish Nehra, 14 L Balaji.

Board President's XI squad 1 Dheeraj Jadhav, 2 Satyajit Parab, 3 Shikhar Dhawan, 4 Mohammad Kaif (capt), 5 Venugopal Rao, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Parthiv Patel (wk), 8 Ramesh Powar, 9 Gagandeep Singh, 10 SS Paul, 11 RP Singh, 12 R Ramkumar, 13 Ranadeb Bose, 14 Niraj Patel.