England in India 2012-13 October 24, 2012

Yuvraj Singh picked in India A squad

Amol Karhadkar

Yuvraj Singh, who marked his return to first-class cricket with a double-century in the Duleep Trophy last week, has been included in the India A squad to play England in Mumbai from October 30.

In their first formal meeting since taking over as national selectors on October 1, Sandeep Patil and his colleagues decided not to pick a spinner in the 14-member squad to be led by Suresh Raina. The decision to not play a spinner is perhaps because the Indian team management does not want to give England exposure to what is likely to be their biggest challenge during the Test series.

While Raina, Yuvraj, Ajinkya Rahane and Manoj Tiwary were included among nine specialist batsmen, Rohit was left out, an indication the Mumbai batsman could have to revive his chances by scoring big in the Ranji Trophy.

Rajasthan batsmen Robin Bist and Ashok Menaria were rewarded for their consistent performances. Bist, the highest run-getter in the previous Ranji Trophy season, had also toured West Indies in June as part of the A squad. Menaria was selected after an impressive outing during the A tour to New Zealand in September.

Tiwary, whose technique wasn't considered to be up to Test standards by the previous selection panel, the Tamil Nadu top-order pair of M Vijay and Abhinav Mukund, and Baroda batsman Ambati Rayudu completed the batting line-up. Initially, Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan was included in the squad, but had to be withdrawn as the match clashes with his marriage. In his place, Rayudu was brought in.*

The bowling attack comprised seamers Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda, R Vinay Kumar and Parvinder Awana, who had broken down while bowling his first spell on the A tour of the Caribbean.

Yuvraj's selection was on expected lines after his 208 for North Zone against Central Zone. He had returned to competitive action after a nine-month break because of a rare germ-cell cancer during India's Twenty20 international against New Zealand and the World Twenty20 that followed in September and October.

And when he was named in the North Zone side for the Duleep Trophy semi-final, Yuvraj had admitted he wasn't sure how his body would cope with four-day cricket. He made most of the opportunity, though, and his 208 - against an attack that included Praveen Kumar, Bhuvneshvar Kumar and Murali Kartik - was only a run less than his highest in first-class score.

Should Yuvraj perform against Alastair Cook's team in the three-day fixture at the Cricket Club of India's Brabourne Stadium next week, he is likely to be a contender for the No. 6 slot in India's Test batting order.

After VVS Laxman's retirement ahead of the two-Test series against New Zealand in August, Suresh Raina was the preferred No. 6, ahead of Rohit, Rahane and Tiwary. However, Yuvraj will now have an opportunity to stake his claim.

*12:07pm October 24: This article has been updated after Ambati Rayudu replaced Shikhar Dhawan in the India A squad.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manoj on October 26, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    Not playing spinners against a visiting team appears to be a case of paranoia mixed with extreme pessimism. While these matches are no doubt warm-up matches for the visiting side, one needs to ask the reason for these matches from the home team perspective. Aren't these matches the best avenue for budding spinners to show their worth? Where else will you get to valuable experience of bowling against a world class side and players? Surely the selectors should not get into the floundering Indian test team tactics for the matches ahead and focus on their job of grooming young talent!

  • Nav on October 26, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Rohit has never got a chance to prove his skills at the test level. While Raina has been included in the squad just means that the selectors are fools. Atleast give Rohit a chance in these kind of matches.

  • spirit on October 26, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    any reason y Vinay Kumar is selected when he 's no pace and no swing whereas Varun Aaron and other others like pankaj kapoor were overlooked,also murali vijay in the team is a big joke

  • Sriram on October 26, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    The XI will be Vijay, Mukund, Rahane, Yuvi, Raina, Tiwary, Saha, Pathan, Vinay, Dinda, Awana and if they decide to field 12, then Bist or Rayudu can be in the race.

  • Samrat on October 26, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    @F:Performing well in domestic cricket doesnt automatically translate to results at International level.True Rohit may have an average of above 60 in domestic cricket,but time and again he has let himself down in the opportunities that he has got in ODI's and T 20's.He reminds me of Graeme Hick who was extraordinary in county cricket,but failed to live upto his reputation in Int'l cricket.The selection of Vinay Kumar baffles me 2.Aaron keeps finding himself out of the team.He is one of those guys who has lotsa talent but somehow the selectors turn the other way when it comes to him.Sehwag still plays the way he used 2 when he was 23.Gambhir pokes around the off stump as usual.I dont really find any1 in the thick of it,except for Kohli.I hope its not gonna be a whitewash at home!Even if is I reckon our Captain Cool is gonna come out and still smile saying the same old thing that India went out there to enjoy and not 2 win.Yawn,

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    Pacelikefire_Samra, Rohit has a batting average above 60 in first class cricket, Yuvraj, & Raina well below 50. In the most recent 20-20 World Cup, he did very well. Yuvi, M Vijay & Raina are proven failures at test level. Raina was even failing at home against NZ. Rohit is yet to DEBUT in test cricket. And why would you leave Aaron and Pankaj Singh and keep proven failures like Vinay Kumar?

  • Smith on October 25, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    India should play Ashwin and Harbhajan then England will collapse because the way they manhandled New Zealand last time was amazing. Make your tracks turn then this should be a one gone conclusion all the best!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amit on October 25, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Guys this can turn out be a reverse warmup match for Indian A team players, believe me the pitch would be a bouncy and green one. Indians going to turn every advantage to their favour in this India vs England series.

    Mind games already started,Andy flower is very particular in this method and indians going to get into his head and destroy all his plans A/B/C...Z

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    I think bowling is very week. Too many batsmen. Part time spinners will not serve the purpose. Inclusion of Rayadu is a good decision. Rohit Sharma is out now. Bist and Maneria are in.... gud move. A gud performance from yuvraj and raina may grab the vacant position of great VVS LAXMAN (no. 6) in forthcoming test series. I didn't know the status of my fellow citizen Varun Aron. Yes he was suffering from a back problem. If he is fit, he should get many more chances. He is a spl.talent... Inclusion of KP is not a gud news to Indian bowlers.

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    mr gopalkrishna pl tell kumble & co to pressurize to include ganesh satish in south zone team first. i think g satish has not signed with kumble

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