In a surprise overhaul to the Indian one-day squad, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman, Zaheer Khan and Lakshmipathy Balaji were excluded from the side for the tri-series in Zimbabwe later this month. However, all the four players were included in the Test squad along with Sachin Tendulkar, who will play if fit.
Zaheer, Kumble and Laxman were expected to miss out, after lukewarm performances in Sri Lanka, but the exclusion of Balaji, who played only one game in the Indian Oil up, came as a surprise.
As part of the revamp to the one-day side, Ajit Agarkar and Murali Kartik were recalled, to replace Balaji and Kumble, while Rudra Pratap Singh, the left-arm swing bowler from Uttar Pradesh, was the new face included. Rudra Pratap was impressive in the domestic circuit last season, finishing with 41 wickets in eight games. Suresh Raina, Venugopal Rao and Jai Prakash Yadav retained their spots.
The Test team was picked on expected lines with the selectors peristing with Gautam Gambhir and Dinesh Karthik, the wicketkeeper. India will play two Tests against Zimbabwe after participating in a one-day competition with the hosts and New Zealand in a month-long tour starting August 24.
"Tendulkar is expected to be fit by the middle of September," SK Nair, the BCCI secretary, was quoted as saying by PTI. "His fitness will be assessed before the tri-series final [September 6] and in case he's found not fit to play, a replacement will be named."
1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Sourav Ganguly (capt), 3 Rahul Dravid (vice-capt), 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Mohammad Kaif, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Venugopal Rao, 8 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), 9 Jai Prakash Yadav, 10 Irfan Pathan, 11 Ajit Agarkar, 12 Harbhajan Singh, 13 Murali Kartik, 14 Ashish Nehra, 15 Rudra Pratap Singh.
1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Rahul Dravid (vice-captain), 4 Sourav Ganguly (capt), 5 VVS Laxman, 6 Yuvraj Singh, 7 Mohammad Kaif, 8 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 9 Irfan Pathan, 10 Anil Kumble, 11 Lakshmipathy Balaji, 12 Zaheer Khan, 13 Harbhajan Singh, 14 Ashish Nehra, 15 Sachin Tendulkar (subject to his fitness).