The much anticipated two-match Test series between India and Australia will start from October 1, 2010 at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali. Ahead of the Border-GavaskarTrophy 2010, Indian Cricket Board announced a 15-man squad with one new face in it. The squad is given below-
Indian team for Test series: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, V V S Laxman, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, S Sreesanth, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara.
According to the selection committee Chairman, Krish Srikkanth, players have been selected based on their performances and fitness.
Cheteshwar Pujara is the only uncapped player who is likely to make his test debut against Australia. Showing his brilliant form in the domestic circuit, he has impressed the selectors. He has been scoring runs for last two domestic seasons and his performance in List A cricket is also good. It may force the selectors to give him a chance to make debut for Indian cricket team. Playing an important innings, he can cement his place in the national squad. On the other hand, his bad form will make him wait to get another call in the national squad.
The exclusion of Yuvraj Singh was one of the most surprising decisions. Selectors had to face more questions for his axing. The main reason of his exclusion is perhaps his bad form. He has been out of form. The most interesting thing is that he has been named captain of the ‘Rest of India’ team, which will take place on Ranji champions Mumbai for the Irani Cup that will start from October 1, 2010.
It has not been confirmed if Harbhajan Singh would play in the opening test match or not. He may not play in the first test match because of injury. Due to fitness issues, he missed the third test against Sri Lanka.
The good news for Indian cricket team is that both Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth have returned to the squad from injury. Zaheer Khan did not attend the Sri Lanka tour in July due to a shoulder injury.
Both Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir are expected to play important roles in the opening stand. It is going to be the first test match for Gautam Gambhir since he suffered a knee injury after the first Test in Sri Lanka.
The inclusion of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and V V S Laxman will make the team much stronger.
This time, Indian cricket team looks very balanced and strong. Let’s see if Australia can face them.