Sweeping changes in Test squad for Nagpur
The selectors made major changes to the Test squad for the fourth Test against England at Nagpur, dropping Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh at a meeting on Sunday.
Delhi’s Parwinder Awana, Saurashtra’s Ravindra Jadeja and UP’s Piyush Chawla were named as their replacements in the side. Awana has been in good nick for Delhi in the current Ranji season while Ravindra Jadeja has shattered records by hitting two triple centuries season and becoming the first Indian to hit three career triple centuries in first class cricket.
Harbhajan has unimpressive figures of 2 wickets for 84 runs from his solitary Test in the series. With 125 runs in 5 innings, Yuvraj Singh is still India’s 5th highest run scorer, ahead of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar. But 74 of those runs came on a flat Ahmedabad track on the first day of the series. Only 51 have followed in the next 4 innings put together.
Zaheer’s England counterpart James Anderson has mentioned that his success in the current series is due to a trick he learnt from watching videos of Zaheer bowling during England’s last tour of India. Zaheer had figures of 8 wickets for 168 runs in two Tests in that series, in the current series he logs in at 4 for 213 runs in three Tests. His omission however is the bravest decision by the selectors.
His fitness, and a sharply reduced effectiveness since his latest return from injury had been in the spotlight for a while. But on what could be a helpful surface for him , dropping Zaheer Khan, especially with Umesh Yadav still unavailable is a brave decision ahead of a must win Test.
Team India for Nagpur Test: MS Dhoni (C), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Dinda, Murali Vijay, Parwinder Awana