India in New Zealand 2013-14 December 30, 2013

Yuvraj likely to make way for Pujara


India's national selectors will meet on Tuesday in Mumbai to pick the squad for the five ODIs in New Zealand in January. On their just-concluded tour of South Africa, India lost two ODIs heavily while their bowlers conceded 301 in the washed-out third game. However, the selectors are not expected to tinker too much with the one-day unit, with the focus being on providing stability to the outfit in the run-up to the 2015 World Cup. Cheteshwar Pujara's Test displays in South Africa are likely to earn him a spot ahead of Yuvraj Singh, which is expected to be the only major change.

Yuvraj had undergone a strenuous fitness program in France and forced his way back into the side for the home limited-overs series against Australia In October following a string of big scores in List A cricket. His first innings on comeback was an unbeaten, match-winning 77 in the solitary Twenty20 in Rajkot but a torrid ODI series followed, in which he scraped 19 runs from four innings at an average of 4.75. Each time, he fell to a fast bowler, succumbing three times to the pace of Mitchell Johnson alone.

He did make a fifty in the following three-match home ODI series against West Indies, but struggled against Sunil Narine's offspin. At the Wanderers, he made a second-ball duck in his only innings in the South Africa ODIs.

Yuvraj's form in the occasional Ranji Trophy match he has played for Punjab has also been disappointing. He made 33 and 40 against Mumbai, 0 and 4 against Delhi and was out for 39 in the first innings of the ongoing game against Jharkhand.

Pujara, on the other hand, averaged 70 over the two Tests despite not being part of the ODI squad that had had a taste of South African conditions beforehand. Pujara has played only two ODIs compared to 17 Tests, and there have been calls for him to be given a bigger role in one-dayers, given his tight technique and the fact that the 2015 World Cup will be played in Australia and New Zealand.

Among the others, Mohit Sharma's place could be under scrutiny, after his lackluster display in the Wanderers ODI, where he went for 82 runs from ten overs.

It is not certain if the selectors will use the same meeting to choose the side for the two Tests in Auckland and Wellington that follow the one-dayers in New Zealand. If they do, there are unlikely to be major changes, with the batsmen doing reasonably well, barring the last day in Durban, and the fast bowlers carrying out heavy workloads.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • menon on December 31, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    Dhawan , Manoj Tiwary , Kohli , Pujara , Jadeja ,Dhoni ,Jadeja, Irfan Pathan,Varun Aaron,Ashwin ,Umesh Yadav

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    yuvi is a good cricketer..he can play well on bouncy pitches..he brought three world cups for india.without yuvi we cant view the yuvi is the best allrounder for india...

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    If India can not find a pace bowling all rounder, for the time being, they should try both Ashwin and Jadeja as spin all rounders. There should be 3 other bowlers, 3 pacers/2 pacer + 1 specialist spinner based on conditions.

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Yuvraj,Raina and Mohit out.Pujara,Rishi Dhawan and Pankaj in.

  • akash on December 31, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    Both Yuvraj and Raina deserve one more chance to show that they can/cannot play in foreign conditions. Pujara needs to come into the squad but it should be in place of Ambati Rayudu. With Rahane and Pujara as options it is unlikely that Rayudu will get a chance in the New Zealand ODI series. Therefore it shall be nice if he is allowed to play in the knock out stage of the Ranji Trophy and for the Tests he can be back in the squad.

  • Swaminathan on December 31, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    I feel that if we are to groom Virat Kohli as the next Test captain, then he should be handed reins for the New Zealand tour, leading the One day side.. My XI - Shikar D/ Rohit Sharma/ Virat Kohli/Pujara/ Rahane/Dhoni/Jadeja/Ashwin/Shammi/Zaheer/Bhuvaneshwari Kumar Suresh Raina/Yuvraj have had a an extended run and unless they come with spectacular performances and consistently in the domestic circuit, they should not be considered at all..enough of Dhoni's nepotism!

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    Nobody seems to have a problem with Ashwin in the ODI team.. I'd rather have him as my number 7 in my test team, playing four other bowlers and dropping Rohit Sharma.. Mishra would be my specialist spinner in the ODIs..

  • mani on December 31, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    Regarding Yuvraj being a match winner on his day, I agree but sadly those days r over. For d ppl who claim him to b d fielder he once was, I wud say they were dreaming or not watching him field during recent matches. He was lethargic in d field and he is also dropping chances these days which is very unlikely of him. He was undoubtedly d reason for India winning last WC but honestly, cancer took d toll out of his body and he was not d player he used to be 3 yrs ago. HIs occasional heroics wid bat cannot cloud d failures he is undergoing and it is not jus d failure, it is d kind of failure that is even more disturbing to see. For a batsman who is 12 yrs old on Int exp, he simply is becoming a bunny for Fast bowlers. As all good things, his story has also come to an end.

    Raina should also not be spared any longer if he remains consistent with his inconsistency. Regarding Varun Aaron, I think he was not fully tested for Int crckt yet. One good spell doesnt pave path for an Intl series.

  • Android on December 31, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    odi team-rohit, shikar, kohli, sanju, dhoni, raina, rishi dhawan, jedeja, bhuvi, shami, ishant,-ambati, rahane, umesh, ashwin, mohit

  • Dummy4 on December 31, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    my team for one day.1. Rohit 2. shikhar 3.jalaj saxsena. 4.virat 5.Dhoni 6.Ajinkya rahane 7.R. jadeja 8. P.ohja 9.Rishi Dhawan 10.shami 11.ishwar pandey . 12.Ambati Rayudu (WK).13 umesh yadav.14 rishi dahwan.15.Manish pandey(karn) Test team.1G.gambhir 2. M.vijay 3.Pujara 4.virat 5.Dhoni 6.Ajinkya rahane 7.jalaj saxsena 8. P Ohja 9.pankaj Singh 10.shami 11.varun aaorn. 12.sanju samson (WK).13 umesh yadav.14.Shikhar Dhawan 15.Ishwar pandey 16. Rohit Sharma

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