Dravid dropped for Australia ODIs
Rahul Dravid, brought in to shore up the middle order in bowler-friendly conditions in South Africa, has been dropped for the first two ODIs against Australia, a home series expected to be played on flat tracks. Both Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh made comebacks from their injuries, taking the places of Dinesh Karthik and Dravid.
Yusuf Pathan and RP Singh - struggling for form - and Abhishek Nayar, tried only for three overs in three games, have been dropped for Ravindra Jadeja, Munaf Patel and the uncapped Sudeep Tyagi. Ishant Sharma has been persisted with despite his struggles in the limited-overs format.
The thorniest question of the selection, though, remained Dravid. Since his comeback, he has scored 14, 47, 39, 76 and 4 in five innings; the 39 came in a crucial 95-run opening stand in the final of the tri-series in Sri Lanka. It was expected that Sehwag and Yuvraj would replace Karthik and Virat Kohli, their original replacements, but the selectors put faith in Kohli.
RP and Yusuf have been disappointing and added to India's struggles in the last few months. RP, after his comeback in the West Indies, averaged 53.20 and gave away 5.91 runs an over. Yusuf, in his last 11 innings, reached double-figures twice, and in 30 matches overall has sent down 111.2 overs. It does not reflect his captain's faith in his bowling. The same applied for Nayar, who has been in the squad for three different series did not score a run or take a wicket.
Jadeja, Munaf and Tyagi, their replacements, all impressed during the Irani Cup and Challenger Trophy. Jadeja's 77, scored with the lower order in company, and Munaf's five-for got Rest of India the match-winning first-innings lead in the Irani tie. Munaf was the highest wicket-taker in the Challenger Trophy, while Tyagi's five wickets came at 18 apiece and Jadeja bowled 20 overs at an economy-rate of 3.7.
India squad MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Sudeep Tyagi, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra.