India in Sri Lanka 2012

Sehwag and Zaheer return, Tendulkar skips SL tour

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 4, 2012

Comments: 441 | Text size: A | A

Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan have returned to the Indian team for the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka; both were rested for the Asia Cup in March. Sachin Tendulkar, who played in the CB series in 2011-12 and the Asia Cup, will be skipping the tour that includes five ODIs and one T20 game.

"It is a long season ahead and I think we will come back to winning ways. Sachin wants to extend his career," the BCCI's chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth told reporters. "He is spacing it out very well."

India's squad for the tour of Sri Lanka

  • MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Virat Kohli (vice-capt), Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, R Ashwin, Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Pragyan Ojha, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane
  • Out: Ravindra Jadeja, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Praveen Kumar
  • In: Ajinkya Rahane, Pragyan Ojha, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav

Ravindra Jadeja, the allrounder, has been dropped for the tour after poor returns in the CB series in Australia. He had a mixed IPL, averaging 15.91 with the bat in 19 matches and taking 12 wickets at 22.75. Pragyan Ojha, the left-arm spinner, who wasn't picked for the Asia Cup has made it to the 15-man squad. Ojha picked up nine wickets in nine IPL games, at 24.44. There was no place for seamer Praveen Kumar either; Praveen collected nine wickets in 16 games at 48.22 in the IPL.

Ajinkya Rahane, who last played for India in December 2011, has been named in the squad, following a good IPL in which he finished as the fourth-highest run-getter. He made 560 runs at an average of 40 and also scored a couple of half-centuries in the limited-overs leg of the India A tour of the West Indies last month.

Fast bowler Umesh Yadav, who was rested for the Asia Cup, returned to the squad. Batsman Manoj Tiwary and legspinner Rahul Sharma were retained but the Pathan brothers, Yusuf and Irfan, who played the Asia Cup were left out.

Sehwag missed the Asia Cup due to back spasms and Zaheer, following a full tour of Australia, was also advised rest for that tournament in Bangladesh. Virat Kohli will remain vice-captain for the upcoming tour. "The idea is continuity," Srikkanth said. "Virat got brilliant hundreds after becoming vice-captain which shows that he likes responsibility."

Among the seamers, Ashok Dinda and Vinay Kumar will support Zaheer and they'll be part of a bowling line-up that includes three specialist spinners, Rahul, R Ashwin and Ojha. Harbhajan Singh, who recently signed a deal with Essex for the second half of the county season, was not selected.

QUICK COMMENT

Where have all the allrounders gone?

The lack of an allrounder is the major surprise in the 15-man India squad for the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka. It has been quite some time since there has been an India squad without at least one of Ravindra Jadeja and the Pathan brothers, all three of whom have been the chief contenders for the allrounder's position at No. 7. Jadeja's debut game in February 2009, against Sri Lanka, had also proved to be Irfan's last for close to three years, before he made a comeback in December 2011 against West Indies. The comeback has lasted eight games spread over three series. A disappointing Jadeja was surprisingly persisted with throughout the CB series in Australia earlier this year, while Irfan was restricted to four games. Jadeja's run has finally come to a halt now, but so has Irfan's. Yusuf's return has lasted all of one Asia Cup game, but his terrible IPL season seems to have gone against him.

No allrounder in the squad means it is increasingly unclear as to whether anyone is ahead in the latest round in the fight for the allrounder's slot. It seems that the fight itself has been called off for the moment, which is startling for a side that has often lacked balance due to the absence of a genuine allrounder. With four specialist fast bowlers picked, it would appear as though there was at least a case for picking Irfan ahead of Vinay Kumar.

The emphasis is on specialists for the series, with three spinners chosen. But that seems a luxury, given Dhoni's usual reliance on his part-time options such as Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma. Unless India play five specialist bowlers, something Dhoni is not a fan of, the bowling resources will be under-utilised.

Again, Sachin Tendulkar's pick-and-choose policy does not help the long-term balance of the squad, but when the chairman of selectors says that "Sachin is spacing it out very well", there is not much left to be said.
Abhishek Purohit

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by mrm2011in on (July 7, 2012, 17:09 GMT)

I DONT UNDERSTAND SELECTION OF VINAY KUMAR INSTEAD OF IRFAN PATHAN AFTER PATHANS SUCCFULL CBSERIES WITH BAT N BALL..HE WAS ONLY BATSMAN IN FORM APART FROM DHONI N KOHLI IN CB SERIES..SOME DISASTER SELECTIONS

GOOD SELECTION-RAHUL SHARMA,JADEJA OUT,YUSUF OUT POOR SELECTION-TIWARY INSTEAD OF UTHAPPA WHO DID WELL IN SA 'S ONLY T20,VINAY KUMAR INSTEAD OF IRFAN,AND SELECTORS FAVOURITE ROHIT SHARMA ....I DONT UNDERSTAR WHT ROHIT SHARMA DOES TO KEEP HIS PLACE IN INDIAN TEAM.....BETTER RANJI PERFORMERS LIKE MANDEEP SINGH,ROBIN UTHAPPA,UNMUKT CHAND SHOULD BE GIVEN CHANCES RATHER THAN PERSISTING WITH ROHIT SHARMA ,JADEJA AND VINAY KUMAR

Posted by Nampally on (July 7, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

@Bruisers: Yes India has plenty of openers but they are unreliable & have never scored in international matches. The latest tour of WI by India A had Dhawan, Mukund & Rahane opening in rotation. There was not a single opening stand >20 runs!.Vijay, Uthapa, Karthik, patel have been all tried but failed. Gambhir, Sehwag & Tendulkar in ODI's & Tests have been the best openers. Try them young -. a new wonder may emerge as in WI tour where Gavaskar debuted at 19 with a series total of 774 runs in 4 tests. That is why U.Chand may surprise some. Instead of blaming Sachin, it is best to take advantage of his absence in grooming younger guys. Rohit, Raina, Tiwary & Rehane are so unreliable, It is best to have a rock solid guy like Pujara at #4.He is relaible & has the best technique amongst all modern Indian batsmen. He has waited too long already. ODI is similar to test with slightly faster S/R. India needs a guy like Pujara to bring stability provided by Dravid, Sachin & VVS in the past.

Posted by Vnott on (July 7, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

Little to choose. The team almost picks itself. Sehwag, Gambhir, Rahane, Virat, Raina, Rohit, Dhoni, Ashwin, Vinay, Zaheer, Umesh Yadav and Dinda will be the 12. Rahul Sharma possibly will not get a game unless someone is injured and if the track is flat or taking more spin, one of the seamers will make way for Ojha. It would be ideal if Zaheer retires from One dayers that will allow Irfan to play as a allrounder - that will give better balance to the side. Vinay Kumar is always likely to be questioned but his stats are fair. Will be good if Shami Ahmed , Bhuvaneshwar Kumar also get a look in. Awana will need to wait. But pacer options have increased which is a good sign.

Posted by Bruisers on (July 7, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

@Nampally - India has plenty of openers. Apart from the trio, we have Rahane, Dhawan, Vijay, Chand, Uthappa etc for limited overs. We need a few middle-order batsmen. I agree with your point on Unmukt Chand but since the U-19 WC coincides with this series, he wasn't considered for selection. Rahane and Dhawan have been consistently making heaps of runs in domestic cricket and therefore I don't see Chand getting picked ahead of them in the coming months. I think the selectors consider Pujara to be a Test match specialist. Thats why he doesn't get the nod in ODIs.

Posted by Bruisers on (July 7, 2012, 2:10 GMT)

The most certain thing, looking at this squad, is, India will play five bowlers - three seamers and two spinners. The interesting selection would be that of the second spinner. Ojha will make the cut in my opinion. So this would be the likely starting XI- GAMBHIR, SEHWAG, KOHLI, SHARMA, DHONI, RAINA, ASHWIN, ZAHEER, VINAY, OJHA, YADAV. This team seriously lacks batting depth. The top-order is too good though, so the selectors feel confident of doing well without a proper No.7 batsman. They should have picked a wildcard all-rounder like Jalaj Saxena. He is much better than Jadeja who has been given way lot of opportunities.

Posted by Nampally on (July 6, 2012, 21:30 GMT)

There are so many questioning why Tendulkar should have right to choose when he plays. I think Sachin made a wise choice compared to the stupid rotation of 2 out of 3 guys (Sachin, Viru & Gambhir) in Australia. Now there are just 2 left & room to find a replacement for Sachin. The most likely successor to Sachin is C.Pujara. The real question one should be asking is - why was Pujara excluded? The second question is India needs opening batsmen. U.Chand played extremely well in U-19 Asia cup. He should have been in the squad along with V.Zol. Even though they are 19 years, great cricketers like Gavaskar(19), Sachin(16) were groomed young. Now was an excellent chance for the Selectors to be progressive & groom young talent. Pujara definitely should have taken Sachin's spot. Even if Pujara was in the squad he would have been benched by Dhoni as he did many times to Rahane & Tiwary + to Ojha & Rahul. India needs a progressive captain. I think Pujara is the right candidate to groom for it.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

IPL is pointless if you dont use what you find... Whatever happened to Parvinder!?

Posted by rydberg on (July 6, 2012, 15:07 GMT)

powar could bowl

Posted by rydberg on (July 6, 2012, 15:01 GMT)

what about praveen,munaf,piyush,nehra harbhajan ahould have been recalled

Posted by Tamimfan on (July 6, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

@EnglishCricket.... Are you still dreaming or should anyone wake you up?

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