Life line! Sehwag,Gambhir,Zaheer,Yuvraj get a chance to fight back

Cheteshwar Pujara will lead the four-day team in three unofficial Tests.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: September 11, 2013 1:51:37 am

Virender Sehwag,Gautam Gambhir,Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh,who had all lost their Team India places over the last one year,now have an opportunity to fight their way back. The national selectors,who met in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday,have included the first three in the India A squad for two four-day matches against West Indies A,while they have named Yuvraj captain for the limited-overs leg of the contest,which begins on September 15. Also Read: Kaif gets ‘A’ foothold

Cheteshwar Pujara,who led India A during their recent tour of South Africa,will lead the four-day team in three unofficial Tests. The first of these will feature a young squad including the likes of Jiwanjot Singh,KL Rahul and Manprit Juneja. Sehwag,Gambhir and Zaheer,meanwhile,are in the squad for the second and third four-day games. Mohammad Kaif,who last played a Test for India in 2006,was a surprise inclusion in this squad. Also Read: Never thought I would captain stalwarts,says Pujara

Sehwag last played for India during the Test series against Australia in March,while Gambhir and Zaheer were dropped from the Test side after the home series against England. Yuvraj Singh lost his place in the ODI side after the home series against England in January. All were ignored for subsequent India A assignments but were given this lifeline with the selectors mindful of the long season ahead. India will play the West Indies at home,before touring South Africa,New Zealand and England,all in the next one year.

Improved fitness

In their time away from the national side,Yuvraj and Zaheer travelled to Brive La Gaillarde,France,to work on their fitness over the course of an intense six-week camp. Zaheer is now in Cape Town to train under former India coach Gary Kirsten. Gambhir,in his bid to recover form,signed for English county side Essex. All this,perhaps,also weighed on the selectors’ minds.

“We want to have a look at every cricketer who has a realistic chance to play for India. This is the reason why we made some alterations to the squads that toured South Africa and played the home series against New Zealand A. Also,these matches clash with the Champions League T20. Some of the top players will be busy playing in that tournament. As for the senior players,we decided to give everyone a fair opportunity (to return to form),” said a BCCI official.

Meanwhile,Irfan Pathan will lead India Red in the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy,while Yuvraj will captain India Blue. Delhi,as winners of the Vijay Hazare Trophy,are the third team in the tournament which starts on September 26.

NZ announce tour dates

Wellington: India will play Test matches at Auckland’s Eden Park and Wellington’s Basin Reserve during their cricket tour to New Zealand in January and February. New Zealand Cricket on Tuesday announced venues for the two Tests and five one-day internationals India will play on tour after previously releasing a brief itinerary. The test matches will be played in Auckland from Feb. 6 to 10 and at Wellington from Feb. 14 to 18,following a two-day warmup match at Whangarei on Feb. 2 and 3. Hamilton will host two of the five one-day internationals while the others will be played in Wellington,Auckland and Napier.

Squads for India A against West Indies

1st four-dayer

Cheteshwar Pujara (captain),Jiwanjot Singh,KL Rahul,Manprit Juneja,Rajat Paliwal,Harshad Khadiwale,P Rasool,Bhargav Bhatt,IshwarChand Pandey,Mohammed Shami,Ashoke Dinda,Rohit Motwani (WK),Dhawal Kulkarni,Paras Dogra

2nd,3rd four-dayer

Cheteshwar Pujara (captain),Gautam Gambhir,Virender Sehwag,Sheldon Jackson,Abhishek Nayar,Paras Dogra,Uday Kaul (WK),Parvez Rasool,Bhargav Bhatt,Dhawal Kulkarni,Zaheer Khan,Ishwar Chand Pandey,Mohammed Shami,Mohammed Kaif

List A & t20

Yuvraj Singh (captain),Unmukt Chand,Robin Uthappa,Baba Aparajith,Kedar Jadhav,Naman Ojha (WK),Yusuf Pathan,Irfan Pathan,Jaydev Unadkat,Praveen Kumar,Sumit Narwal,Shahbaz Nadeem,Mandeep Singh,Rahul Sharma

NKP Salve Challenger

India blue

Yuvraj Singh (captain),Akshath Reddy,Naman Ojha (WK),Mandeep Singh,Ankit Bawane,Abhishek Nayar,Manish Pandey,Piyush Chawla,Ankit Rajpoot,Vinay Kumar,Bhuvneshwar Kumar,Iresh Saxena

India red

Irfan Pathan (captain),Robin Uthappa,Abhinav Mukund,Saurabh Tiwary,Gurkirat Mann,Kedar Jadhav,Smit Patel (WK),Yusuf Pathan,Shahbaz Nadeem,Abhimanyu Mithun,Umesh Yadav,Suraj Yadav

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