India have announced a 15-man squad for the first two tests of their impending home test series with England. Yuvraj Singh’s comeback from cancer continues on its impressive trajectory, with the 30-year old all-rounder named in the squad that also includes off-spinner Harbhajan Singh who has been out of test matches since August 2011.
Yuvraj Singh last featured in a test match in November 2011 and underwent treatment for germ-cell cancer the United States at the beginning of 2012. following successful chemotherapy, Yuvraj returned to cricket action when he was picked in the India squad for the T20 world cup. He has since shown impressive form with bat and ball alike, cracking a double century in first class cricket in October.
In his last match ahead of the test series, Yuvraj scored a half-century and took five wickets for india A against England in a practice game at Mumbai. His all-round showing has virtually ensured Yuvraj’s inclusion in the Indian eleven for the first test. In 37 tests played so far by him, Yuvraj has scored 1,775 runs at an average of 34.80, including three tons.
Harbhajan who has 406 wickets from 98 matches (the highest among active players) will join Ashwin and Ojha as the third spinner in the Indian side.
A prominent exclusion from the squad is Suresh Raina who had a mediocre showing in two home tests against New Zealand in August. Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay have also been drafted into the squad as reserve batsmen with Gambhir and Sehwag likely to open. The squad also has three new ball operators in the form of Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, though one of them is likely to be benched.
India head into the test series seeking to avenge a 4-0 trouncing inflicted by England when India toured the country last year. The first test is due to begin on November 15, at Ahmedabad.
The India squad for the first two tests is as follows: Dhoni, Sehwag, Gambhir, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Yuvraj, Yadav, Sharma, Zaheer, Harbhajan, Ashwin, Ojha, Rahane, Vijay.
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