Harbhajan dropped for first two ODIs
Offspinner Harbhajan Singh has been left out of India's squad for the first two ODIs against England on October 14 and 17. Karnataka medium-pacer S Aravind and Punjab legspinner Rahul Sharma have received their maiden international call-ups.
Fast bowler, Varun Aaron who was part of the ODI squad in England but did not play, retained his place in the 15-man team. Batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Manoj Tiwary are the other replacements sent to England who kept their spots.
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav, who was not part of the India set-up since the 2010-11 Test series in South Africa, also made a comeback.
The squad is missing Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma due to injuries sustained on the recent tour of England. Fast bowler Ashish Nehra, who had declared himself fit after breaking his hand during the World Cup, and allrounder Yusuf Pathan, who was part of the World Cup squad, were not selected.
India's squad contained five batsmen - Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Manoj Tiwary - two wicketkeeper batsmen - MS Dhoni and Parthiv Patel - and one allrounder in Ravindra Jadeja. The bowling attack comprised five seamers - Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, S Aravind and Praveen Kumar - and two spinners in R Ashwin and Rahul Sharma.
Harbhajan's axeing came after his disappointing performance during the Test series in England, where he took only two wickets in 69.4 overs at an average of 143.50 and economy-rate of 4.11. He suffered a stomach injury during the second Test and was ruled out of the last two matches and the limited-overs series that followed. India lost the Test series 0-4 and the ODI series 0-3 in England.
Aravind had a strong 2010-11 domestic season; he was the second-highest wicket-taker for Karnataka with 26 scalps and also the second-highest wicket-taker for South Zone in the Duleep Trophy with 10 wickets. He followed that up with an impressive performance for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2011 to push his claims for national recognition. Rahul Sharma also caught notice in the IPL, where he picked up 16 wickets in 14 games for the under-performing Pune Warriors, at the eye-popping economy-rate of 5.46.
This selection meeting in Chennai was the first since the BCCI replaced Yashpal Sharma with Mohinder Amarnath as the North Zone representative on the panel.
Squad: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Gautam Gambhir, Parthiv Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, S Aravind, Rahul Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Praveen Kumar.