Pakistan in India, 2012-13 December 23, 2012

Sehwag back for ODIs, Zaheer stays out


India made six changes to India's ODI squad that had toured Sri Lanka in July and August this year, for the three-match ODI series against Pakistan, starting December 30. Virender Sehwag survived the axe on a day Sachin Tendulkar retired from ODI cricket but Zaheer Khan was not considered for the high-profile series.

The selectors, who met captain MS Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher at the BCCI headquarters, replaced allrounder Irfan Pathan, fast bowler Umesh Yadav and middle-order batsman Manoj Tiwary, who are all nursing injuries. The selection committee headed by Sandeep Patil also decided to leave out Zaheer and the spin duo of Pragyan Ojha and Rahul Sharma. The six men who have come in their place are Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Shami Ahmed and Amit Mishra.

While Yuvraj, Jadeja and Ishant's inclusion was expected, Bhuvneshwar, the Uttar Pradesh allrounder and Shami, the Bengal seamer, have been rewarded for their consistent performances on the domestic circuit and India A tours. Legspinner Mishra's inclusion in the ODIs was a big surprise. Though there is not much to choose between Mishra and Piyush Chawla when it comes to leg-spin bowling, Mishra's fielding has been a big weakness. Besides, he has had a prolonged problem of overstepping while bowling.

There are doubts over whether Sehwag will play in the 2015 World Cup. He was dropped for the Asia Cup in March following a poor CB Series in Australia. However, he showed glimpses of regaining his form. Still, Sehwag averages only 23.66 from his previous nine games, with just one 50-plus score, since scoring a world-record 219 against West Indies last December.

In Zaheer's case, it was a mutual understanding between the bowler, the team management and the selectors that he would concentrate on being in shape for the Australia Test series in February. However, if Zaheer improves on his fitness and his domestic team Mumbai are unable to make it to the Ranji Trophy knockouts, it won't be surprising if he plays a part during the ODI series against England, starting January 11.

The selectors did not make any changes to the T20 squad that played England in a just-concluded two-match series. The T20 series against Pakistan starts on December 25 in Bangalore.

T20 squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt), Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ashok Dinda, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Parvinder Awana, Piyush Chawla, Ambati Rayudu.

ODI squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shami Ahmed, Amit Mishra.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on December 26, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    why Ashok Dinda ?. Irfan Phatan is there......

  • dummy4fb on December 26, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    Where has Irfan Pathan gone,we really need him to make the team well balance...

  • dummy4fb on December 26, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    @ Nampally : I agree. India became No.1 in tests because batsman like Sehwag, VVS, Dravid, Tendulkar & lone bowler Kumble and some credit to Bhajji. We are seeing the effect of VVS/Dravid & Kumble not being in the test team. Presently India does not have bowling to take 20 Wickets on any track or contain any top seven ODI team below 200. Now, on Sehwag, There is nothing called batting form for Sehwag, its about him clicking on a day or not. The only difference is he used to click most often than not before and not so much for past 6-9 games.

  • ggsg on December 26, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    In response to spradeepvg statement, "If it is true that "If sehwag scores a ton, India wins" and it is also true that "If tendulkar had scored a ton, India had lost". This is true statistically in ODI, but reality is different. " heres stats test match overall played 194 tests, runs scored 15645 51 hundreds and 66 fifties, average54.32. In Drawn matches 72, runs scored 5887/15645, 20/51 ton and 26/66 fifties, ave 65.41. Lost 56 Test matches, runs scored 4088/15645, 11/51 ton 18/66 fifties with average 37.16. IN WON MATCHES 66 RUNS SCORED 5670/15645, WITH 20/51 TON, 22/66 FIFTIES AVERAGE 64.43. NOW ODIS OVERALL PLAYED 463 RUNS SCORED 18426, 49 TONS 96 FIFTY AND AVERAGE 44.83. IN MATCHES WON 234 RUNS SCORED 1115718426, 33/49 TONS, 59/96 FIFTIES AND AVERAGE OF 56.63. I rest my case

  • dummy4fb on December 26, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    why not take Sandeep Sharma..He is geniune swing bowler and move both side...Bhubaneswar and Sandeep will be both dangerous for against team..please selectors think about for future..

  • spradeepvg on December 26, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    @Nampally : Let's get your facts straight : Neither Sehwag nor Tendulkar invented "reverse sweep". It is invented in early 1970s by Haniff Mohammed and popularized by Bob Woolmer. Moreover, they dont even figure in the top list of batsmen who exploited this shot.

    If it is true that "If sehwag scores a ton, India wins" and it is also true that "If tendulkar had scored a ton, India had lost". This is true statistically in ODI, but reality is different.

    I admire Sehwag and Tendulkar. But you need to jump the gun.

  • Nampally on December 25, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    To all those who are having a bash at Sehwag: his latest 4 test scores vs. England are 117, 25, 30,9,23,49 & ) for a total of 255 at an average of 37. Which is the other opening batsman in India comparable to this in india? Admittedly he is not getting centuries galore but only other guys who scored centuries are Pujara(2) & Kohli(1). Sehwag has a better consistency +average than Kohli in the last Test series & highest S/R of any Indian batsman. So before spouting off all sorts of trash on this blog see the stats & write accordingly. Also Sehwag has an average S/R of 104 in odi compared to about 40 of Gatting & 70 of Miandad @ Al-Bundy to note! Let us be sensible before pouring out unnecssary criticism against any player. It hurts the player, the Team & his sensible fans.

  • Nampally on December 25, 2012, 19:42 GMT

    Al_Bundy 1: Please wake up ! There is no other dominant Indian player who can turn the games into victories that matches Sehwag. Indian bowling is below Poor! It is the batting that has carried this team to be world cup winners as well as the Test #1 spot. If Indian opening batsmen fail, so do the rest of the batting. History & Stats have proven it unequivocally. Sehwag is even a better off spinner than Ashwin or harbhajan & has never been exploited. Anyone bashing Sehwag should look at the alternatives they have at the opening spot. If Pujara is not in the middle order batting, India has no sheet anchor either. You can put all sorts of names but when it comes to the crunch they do not produce. Lot of hot air but no action. Whart is the record of Miandad or Gatting compared to Sehwag & his S/R. No comparison in any format. It requires guts to open the batting & smash up best seamers in the World. That is what Sehwag brings to the Indian batting. So get Real.

  • Al_Bundy1 on December 24, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    It looks like @Nampally was born yesterday. Only an immature person would say - Sehwag & Sachin were the pioneers who invented the reverse sweep. Have you ever heard of Javed Miandad? or Mike Gatting? These days Sachin and Sehwag are just free wickets for the opposite team. Selectors should have axed Sehwag as well.

  • Nampally on December 24, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    Amol, It is funny to see "Sehwag survived the Axe" in this article. Sehwag is one batsman who maintians his S/R of over 100 in all formats of the game. This S/R is critical in the ODI's. Sehwag & Sachin were the pioneers who invented the reverse sweep & have been the only 2 dominant ODI players in the world with double centuries- a feat no one else achieved in ODI history. Sehwag is also the most feared opener any fast bowler likes to see in the opening overs. India should be thankful that he is still playing instead of calling to axe him. India should take advantage of his style & goad him to produce more of his big scores. If Sehwag scores big, India win even with its worst bowling. Media & Fans should focus their attention more on the bowlers to raise India. Batsmen have carried India far too long.When Yuvraj @ 80% fitness bowls better than Ashwin( lead spinner), then it is a sad state of affairs.If Sehwag scores a century, India wins - pl. don't kill the golden goose- Go Sehwag!

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