India tour of South Africa 2010-11 November 20, 2010

Yadav, Saha picked for South Africa Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff

India have picked wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and seamers Umesh Yadav and Jaidev Unadkat for the three-Test series in South Africa, which begins on December 16 in Centurion. Zaheer Khan makes a return to the squad after being ruled out of the ongoing third Test against New Zealand because of a groin strain, but he, along with four other senior players, will miss the first two ODIs of the series against New Zealand.

Gautam Gambhir will lead the ODI team in the absence of MS Dhoni, who had said he would request the BCCI for rest after playing non-stop since the tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year. Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh were the other players rested for the ODIs against New Zealand due to "injury concerns, which require attention and rehabilitation".

Unadkat, the left-arm seamer from Saurashtra, had been drafted in as Zaheer's replacement for the third Test while Yadav, who is currently playing for Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy, impressed during the IPL with Delhi Daredevils and made it to India's squads for the World Twenty20 and the tour of Zimbabwe. Saha, who plays for Bengal and has represented India in one Test, is fresh from a century against Assam in the Ranji Trophy Super League.

Saha will also make his ODI debut, having been included in the squad for the first two games against New Zealand. Dinesh Karthik, who has been the usual replacement for Dhoni in the 50-over format, was not selected. Saha, whose glove work is highly regarded, will have at least two games to prove his batting skills before the selectors pick probables for the World Cup.

Allrounder Yusuf Pathan, who last played for India in June, made his return to the team for the ODI series. Pathan is having a good domestic season with Baroda, smashing 89 off 42 balls against Gujarat in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and scoring 195 off 138 balls against Haryana in the Ranji Trophy. He performed with the ball as well, pickng up ten wickets in a defeat against Uttar Pradesh.

Dhoni, on the eve of the ongoing third Test against New Zealand in Nagpur, had asked for rest for players like himself and Suresh Raina ahead of the tour of South Africa.

India coach Gary Kirsten had stressed the need for a few players to depart early, at least a week ahead of the Test series, not only to acclimatise but also understand the ground conditions better. The BCCI agreed to send some players early to South Africa to make up for the absence of practice games ahead of the Test series, even if at the expense of participation in the ODIs against New Zealand. Despite Saturday's announcement of senior players being rested, it is still unclear as to who would make the trip to South Africa before the others.

India face New Zealand in the first of five ODIs on November 28 in Guwahati.

Squad for first two ODIs v New Zealand: Gautam Gambhir (capt), M Vijay, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Saurabh Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, R Vinay Kumar, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja.

Squad for South Africa Tests: MS Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Jaidev Unadkat, Pragyan Ojha.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 27, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    First of all Robin Uthappa is not a regular keeper he can be picked for T20 not for One day.Rest the Test Squad is fine

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    I think Irfan Pathan is injured. He has not played a single game for Baroda this season. How can the selectors pick him? With the Ranji season going on, the selectors could have waited a little longer to pick the squad for SA. We shd have taken an extra batsmen. Raina is suspect against short pitch bowling and if Pujara fails or gets injured, we need a middle order batsmen. Badri has been very good this season and he deserves a chance

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    i think Jaidev Unadkat has oly come frm his 1st season of 1st class cricket. he needs some experience under his belt to perform at bigger stage........ and comin to rest, i think the players who r likely to make it to WC 2011 squad should b rested from tests in south africa and play ODI matches to gain momentum for WC 2011......... if poor performances of Sreesanth can earn him spot in test matches, y can't irfan and RP comback into ODI squad, if not playin 11 it wil give them confidence and wil perform well when their turns on.............

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    i just want to ask from the selector.. that why they are not giving the chance to Robin uthappa,, he was the best replacement for Dhoni.. he batting style is aggressive,, he is good behind the Stups.. he can bat in any order...

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 19:44 GMT

    why not send a second rate team to SA for the tests and rest all those who wants to rest? I hate our Indian board discriminating so much against teams that struggle a bit. If they want to play in only high profile series, then announce so and dont blame it on "rest for players". I wish SA would field a totally 3 rd rate team for the upcoming test series. Every team deserves a chance to play against a good team. I am not proud of our Indian team being number 1 if this is the way they treat other teams. Shameful. It makes the efforts of Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman and others all go waste!

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 15:34 GMT

    As an audience I do not pay to watch a B grade India team playing an ODI, do I? If first choice players need rest then what is the need to play one day match?

  • Aabhas on November 25, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    Is Nehra injured? Otherwise its difficult to comprehend why he isnt part of the ODI team!

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    The squad has a good balance. I think this series will be Yuvraj's last if he doesn't perform. Sreesanth shouldn't have been picked. I think Parthiv Patel should have been picked as a second wicketkeeper. Raina should definately be rested and I think Irfan Pathan should have been selected. Atleast he should have been tried instead of Sreesanth.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    where IRFAN, RP SINGH????? RP SINGH & IRFAN PATHAN is better than VINAY & SREESANTH?

  • Ravi on November 25, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    Why Indian selector ignoring Irfaan Pathan...he deserve one more chance in team or Dhoni have some problem with him???

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