Left arm seamer Ashish Nehra returned to the national fold after four years while young all rounder Abhishek Nayar was the lone new face in India’s 16-man squad for the ODI tour of the West Indies for which key players Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan were rested.
The 30-year-old Nehra,who last played a one-day international in September 2005,was rewarded for his fine show in the recent IPL with a berth in the squad which has no place for Irfan Pathan and an injured Suresh Raina.
Tamil Nadu opener Murali Vijay and middle order batsman S Badrinath were recalled in the squad announced by BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan through a press release.
Srinivasan said Raina was not considered for selection as he sustained a hairline fracture on his thumb and has been advised two weeks’ rest. Zaheer has been rested while Tendulkar had made a request that he be rested for the tour beginning June 26.
The 25-year-old Mumbai all rounder Nayar was also rewarded for his consistent performance in domestic cricket and the recent IPL by being named in the squad to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Yuvraj Singh as his deputy.
Virender Sehwag,who pulled out of the Twenty20 World Cup because of a shoulder injury,was also not considered for selection.
India are scheduled to play four ODIs in the Caribbean with Jamaica hosting two matches (June 26 and 28) and St Lucia holding the two other games (July 3 and 5). The Indians will leave for the West Indies from London on Thursday.
Nehra,who has played 17 Tests and 72 ODIs before going out of favour,got the nod ahead of fellow pacers Munaf Patel and S Sreesanth.
The Delhi bowler,who has been plagued by injuries right through his career,had last played an ODI against New Zealand in 2005 and it remains to be seen whether he gets an opportunity to play in the matches.
Badrinath got a look-in mainly because of Suresh Raina’s injury and the Tamil Nadu middle order batsman,who had a decent outing in the recent IPL,would be keen to cement his place if given the opportunity.
Two of the selectors – Chairman K Srikkanth and Raja Venkat — were in England. They communicated with their three colleagues via a teleconference.
Dhoni,Gary Kirsten,Srinivasan,convener of the All-India Selection Committee,also participated in the meeting.
Squad: MS Dhoni (capt/wk),Yuvraj Singh,Gautam Gambhir,Rohit Sharma,Harbhajan Singh,Pragyan Ojha,Yusuf Pathan,Murali Vijay,S Badrinath,RP Singh,Praveen Kumar,Ishant Sharma,Abhishek Nayar,Ashish Nehra,Ravindra Jadeja,Dinesh Karthik