West Indies in India 2013-14 October 31, 2013

Umesh Yadav, Rohit Sharma in India Test squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rohit Sharma, who is yet to make his Test debut, has made a comeback to the squad selected for the two Tests against West Indies. Ravindra Jadeja missed out because of a shoulder strain, creating an opening for the third spinner that was filled by legspinner Amit Mishra. The surprise, however, was that Zaheer Khan didn't make it to the four-man pace unit, while Ishant Sharma retained his place. Umesh Yadav returned after a back injury had forced him out of the Australia series, and Mohammed Shami was the new inclusion.

After spending the off season training in France and coming back fitter, Zaheer took match hauls of five wickets in successive first-class matches against West Indies A and Haryana. Dropped during the England series last year, Zaheer was expected to make it back into the squad. He has not, but the selectors are still looking at him as a prospect for the South Africa tour.

A source told ESPNcricinfo that the selectors debated whether to bring him back immediately or give him more match time in domestic cricket. The eventual consensus was that he needed more overs under his belt before coming back to Test cricket. "He is very much a part of the plans for South Africa," the source said.

Rohit made his way back into the squad with consistent performances at the top of the order in ODIs, and could even be used as a back-up opener should the need arise. As it stands, he and his Mumbai team-mate Ajinkya Rahane will compete for the middle-order vacancy that arises because of the absence of Jadeja, who has been advised two weeks' rest. Suresh Raina, who was part of the previous Test squad, was dropped.

Harbhajan Singh and Ashok Dinda were also dropped. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the main spinners - R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha - and other batsmen retained their places. A big matter of debate will be the retention of Ishant, whose results in international cricket have been ordinary of late. To go with the recent hidings in one-day cricket, Ishant last took more than three wickets in a Test innings more than two years ago, at Lord's in July 2011. His overall average of 38 is uninspiring, and since that Lord's Test every wicket he has taken has cost India 60 runs.

Squad: MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Ajinkya Rahane, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jets on November 5, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    Murali Vijay had two scores of 150+ in test matches against Australia. It would be abomination to leave him out,

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    India will miss jadeja for sure in this match, also wil lag the little help with part timers. So he need to have 5 full time bowlers in final squad of 11 - 1)shikhar dhawan 2)Rohit sharma(considering opening form he is in)3)cheteshwar pujara/ajinkya rahane(Rahane may get an axe here) 4)sachin tendulkar 5)virat kohli 6)ms dhoni 7)Ashwin (as dhoni's fav and backup batsman) 8)Amit mishra/Pragyan ojha(high probability it will be mishra as leg spinner) 9)umesh yadav 10)mohd shami 11)B.kumar/ishant sharma( Dhoni can surprise us with Ishant in team)

  • Shivanand on November 5, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    I go with:- (1) Murali, (2) Dawan. (3) Pujara, (4) Sachin, (5) Virat, (6) Dhoni, (7)Ashwin, (8) Ojha, (9)Yadav, (10) Shami, (11) Ishant ** for 1st test***

  • Amit on November 5, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    My Squad for 1st test : 1. Rahit Sharma 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Cheteshwar Pujara 4. Sachin Tendulkar 5. Virat Kohli 6. Ajinkya Rahane 7. Dhoni 8. Ashwin 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Pragyan Ojha 11. Mohammed Shami

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    My playing XI for India in test series against West-India with serial wise too is:

    Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (capt. & wk),Irfan Pathan, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

  • Abdul on November 5, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    India should try rahane as replacement of M vijay...and it will be better if we play with 5 bowlers bcz we had 6 top class batsmen at top so need to play with 7th batsman in test bcz ash and mishra ,bhuvi can stand a bit if any top batsman accopnay them.....and it is crucial that we need to pick up 20 wickets...so it ll be better to play with 5 bowlers and without M vijay...

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    Ojha & Ishant do not deserve their spots.

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Below are my fav playing 11: 1. Shikhar Dhawan, 2. M Vijay, 3. Cheteshwar Pujara, 4. Sachin Tendulkar, 5. Virat Kohli, 6. Rohit Sharma, 7. MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 8. R Ashwin, 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10. Pragyan Ojha, 11. Umesh Yadav.

  • Venkat on November 5, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    Here is my guess on who will be picked by the captain/management for the starting 11 in the first test with WI. If they go with 4 bowlers, Rohit will get his test cap. 1) Vijay, 2) Dhawan, 3) Pujara, 4) Tendulkar, 5) Kohli, 6) Rohit, 7) Dhoni, 8) Ashwin, 9) Bhuvi, 10) Yadav 11) Ishant / Shami / Mishra (a tough one to guess on the last bowler spot). If they go with 5 bowlers, in the above lineup Rohit will be on the sideline and two out of Ishant / Shami / Mishra be in the 11. My personal preference as a fan is to see Rohit getting his debut in India and making some runs before going to SA. This test series is also a chance for our team to get into the groove in the classic format before the tougher overseas tours (in addition to of course being a fitting farewell to you know who).

  • Karthi on November 4, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    My XIs for first test: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami