India v South Africa, 2nd Test, Kolkata February 9, 2010

Raina called up, Sreesanth and Karthik back

Cricinfo staff
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The Indian selectors, who have been under fire for having named an unbalanced squad for the first Test, made the correction by getting rid of the extra seam bowler and drafting in a proper reserve batsman, Suresh Raina. Also in contention for a spot in Kolkata, should VVS Laxman not return to full fitness, is Dinesh Karthik who pushed his case for a recall with two centuries in the Duleep Trophy final last week.

Sreesanth, who missed India's last two Tests with a thigh strain, also made his way back into the squad. The back-up seamers, Sudeep Tyagi and Abhimanyu Mithun, and reserve wicketkeeper, Wriddhiman Saha, were dropped from the squad for the Nagpur Test that India lost by an innings and six runs.

By calling in Karthik, who has a much better batting record in first-class cricket than Saha, they gave the team extra cushion in the batting department. Saha, who unwittingly became a villain by having to debut as a batsman because of the injuries on the morning of the match, will be left wondering why he was dropped when his primary skill, wicketkeeping, wasn't even tested. Karthik last played in the second Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur recently.

The biggest story of the squad, though, was the selection of Raina, who made his international debut in 2005 and has played 87 ODIs. Of the younger crop of middle-order Indian batsmen, Raina is the first one to have cemented his place in the ODI and Twenty20 sides. Since his first international century - during the Asia Cup in June 2008 - he has been a permanent member of the ODI middle order and has averaged 46.61 at a strike-rate of 97.70. He is primed for a Test debut should Laxman fail the fitness race for the Kolkata Test. Being a left-hand batsman should make Raina a serious consideration after India's right-hand batsmen struggled against Paul Harris' outside-the-leg line in Nagpur.

Sreesanth will be a welcome addition to the squad after Ishant Sharma bowled 28 wicketless overs in Nagpur. A few hours before the selectors met, Sreesanth confirmed to Cricinfo that he was fully fit and had been bowling regularly at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. He recently made his comeback from a long injury layoff with a five-for against Sri Lanka in Kanpur, but strained his thigh in Chittagong.

Squad: MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, S Badrinath, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Dinesh Kartik, Suresh Raina.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ShivaPrakash77 on February 13, 2010, 15:25 GMT

    @Cotton-eye-Jel: First of all, let me make it clear, I am not a south basher. I also hail from South from Bangalore but working in Chennai. Its my opionion and every one has right to express opinions. I do not say that whatever I said need to be accepted by all, its just my point of view. It appears very clear from the outset the selections made are biased and centered on providing chances to Srikkanth's home state players and the IPL team he is involved with. By taking blame for the selection mishaps during 1st test and to say 'Lesson Learnt' related to Laxman's case saying 'should not select player in the squad who are not 100% fit' he has proved his incapability and immature decisions. We do not need to be National Selectors to do this costly mistake to learn this basic lesson. It just shows how seriously they consider their job. Similar mistake done in any field by us in this competetive world will end up getting fired in the job. I can still say this is not the best 11,its biased

  • AvidCricFan on February 13, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    In my opinion Kohli should have been picked instead of Raina. He has much better temperament and technic than Raina. Kohli is a grafter. That is what we need in the test cricket. Karthik is getting way too many chances than his talent and performance in test and one day cricket shows. I do not understand why Pathiv is not considered. He has better grit than Karthik and probably better with gloves too. If Bhajji does not perform in Kolkota, he needs to be shown door. If he can not perform in fair weather, bring new blood. Our situation does not look good in pace either.

  • Cotton-eye-Joel on February 13, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    and one more thing, please limit your posts to being intelligent non bashing comments. As for the spinners, Harbajan is the best we' ve got and yes sometimes even good bowlers have bad days. Mishra is great but only experience will aid him in this regard. Ojha's bowling is beautiful but I would prefer Mishra's penetrative attack. The only thing I would agree with you is that the "Saha" episode was totally unnecessary but this is a cruelty bringing him to his debut match and not even testing his skills as a wicketkeeper. Dinesh Kartik is a great option as he showed recently but I would prefer an allrounder. We do have a shortage of allrounders though and Yusuf would be a great option. It was also not the pace attack of India which wavered in this loss but rather our inefficieny in the first innings aginst Steyn. Please give credit where credit's due.

  • Cotton-eye-Joel on February 13, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    @ Mr.ShivaPrakash ...Srikanth is indeed AN ENTERTAINING BATSMAN but he did select who was best and just only the best. Vijay and Badri have earned this spot and this was only a matter of time. You immediately labelled Srikanth as a regionalist without giving a moment to think of your own irony. Just a glimpse of your posts portrays southern bashing. Whats bhajji's slap episode have anything to do with this loss to South Africa?? This and another set of misguided facts DO NOT HAVE ANY RELEVANCE AT ALL...you probably also overlooked the fact that despite Raina being suited to shorter versions has experience related to overseas tours. To save this last match we do not want to risk rookie bowlers being made to look like goats. Sreesanth may not be as attacking but you were probably not aware of his match winning spell against South Africa when we toured there in 2006. That and the reverse swing bowling against Srilanka shows that we need people like him.

  • durai86 on February 12, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    @ShivaPrakash7:Karthik is replacement for Dhoni in wicket keeper position

  • Htc-Baseball on February 12, 2010, 15:47 GMT

    lot of heated discussions, but india have managed to brng up good pacemen in the likes of irfan,ishanth,munaf,praveen. but its totally shocking to see their complete decline. someone has to figure out thier problems.. well irfan impressed everyone in subcontinental tracks and now looks atleast a good shade of wat he was of his past... i strongly feel he along wit chawla who did very well in presidents eleven agnst sa shd be in team (though impossible). irfan s also mre than handy wit bat... My team wud be viru,gauti,vijay,sachn,laxman,doni,manish pandey,irfan,chawla,zaheer,mithun/tyagi.. well its an cmpletly impossible line up but think ths is the nly way to make glimpse of a win possible.... l

  • ShivaPrakash77 on February 12, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    @durai86: again, my accusations are not baseless, it is there for everyone to see. Instead of strengthening the Indian middle order by selecting Kohli or Pandey for 2nd test, they again chose Karthik and Raina. Karthik was tried and tested before, why cant they try someone who is technically good instead they went to flashy and cross batted hitters like Raina and Karthik. they are just good for shorter formats.. they dont have temper to play long innings. even for that reason Yuvraj also does not deserve a place. Replacements selected for 2nd test angered me, as our chief selector is providing match practice to the players from the IPL team he is involved with. In this context it looks rubbish and ridiculous. Srikkanth need to be shown door and let us have unbiased gentlemen like Ravi Shastri, Kumble, Gavaskar come in and do the damage repair. One thing I am expecting in next few days.. Bhajji to slap crybaby and let both of them get out of Indian team for some rest. I cheer Go SA Go

  • TMSer on February 12, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    Some of the names for the future indian batting lineup should have been tested on-by-one well before this important series; the Bangladesh series past was a great opportunity to test out the likes of Rahane, Pujara, Dhawan etc. Selectors wasted that chance and completly messed up selection for the first test when Laxman was doubtful. for 2nd test they have removed all seam bowling cover, what if theres another injury? Ishant doesnt look to be effective at international level on indian pitches, should be saved for away pitches. sreesanth will surely get more swing at Kolkata and spin is a concern too, Misra couldnt keep consistent line and length throughout. I havent been impressed with Vijay either, why not try out one of the young batsmen doing well domestically and also develop an allrounder like Jadeja?? Also a good time bed in a replacement for Yuvraj who has shown test cricket is too much for him.

  • GafurKhan on February 12, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    My Test team 1.sehwag 2.gambhir 3.dravid 4.tendlya 5.laxman 6.pujara 7.karthik 8.ojha 9.ashwin 10.zaheer 11.mithun 12.vijay 13.powar 14.sreeshanth My One day Team 1. Tendlya 2. Sehwag 3. Gambhir 4. Yuvraj 5. Raina 6. Dhoni 7. Irfan pathan 8. Nehra 9. Praveen kumar 10. Jadeja 11. Harbhajan 12. Virat 13. Nayar 14. mithun My 20/20 Team 1. sehwag 2. gambhir 3. manish 4. youvraj 5. dhoni 6. raina 7. nayar 8. yusuf 9. irfan 9. jadeja 10. praveen 11. nehra 12. rohit sharma 13. karthik 14. tyagi

  • durai86 on February 12, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    @ShivaPrakash77:I have given the stats of the players in the recent ranji that you have mentioned.Refer History ,mostly 3 teams have dominated the international scenes MUMBAI,DELHI,KARNATAKA....There where times were upto 6 players are from MUMBAI in the international scenes .Recently 4 players played for delhi in one days ....will you say all these things as regionalism.First be diplomatic and see every thing as an Indian.You cant pick based on finalists .Remember the same TN team got the bonus point when they played against MUMBAI in the league.Badri scored 250 and M.Vijay scored 154 in that match .It is all consistency about Indian cricket. You may flay any person,but be open minded and see things as it is.There are only 11 players who have to finally play.I am not supporting TN cricket ,I am justifying the case which you have started with baseless accusation.BAdri has shown 9 years of consistency.Even I want bhajji to slap sreesanth as we want a better spinner in the team .

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