The Indian selectors have announced the national team for the first two Tests against England while Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh have made a comeback.
The above two players have recovered fully from their ailment and have proved their fitness by appearing in the domestic first class matches. Ajinkya Rahane has been knocking the doors of Test cricket since long and may win the Indian Test cap. Below we will highlight the brief careers of the three players:
Hrbhajan Singh was born on July 3, 1980, in Jullundur, a right-arm off spinner and right hand batsman. He has played for India, Punjab, India Green, Asia XI, Lancashire, Essex, Surrey and Mumbai Indians. He is a quality slow bowler who has an impressive record in all formats of the game and has won quite a few matches for his country.
The 32-year-old had some anxious moments in his career as well when he was dropped in the home series vs. West Indies in 2011 and ignored for the away Australian tour of 2011-12. He continued appearing at the domestic level and was picked up once again to represent his country.
The right- arm off spinner made his debut against Australia on March 25, 1998, at M Chinnaswammy Stadium, Bangalore. He has appeared in 98 Tests and grabbed 406 wickets at an average of 32.22, the best of 8-84 in an innings and 15-217 in a match. He has scored 2164 runs averaging 18.65, the best of 115 with 2 centuries and 9 fifties. Harbhajan played his last Test vs. England on July 29, 2011, at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
Yuvraj Singh was born on December 12, 1981, in Chandigarh, a left hand middle order batsman and left-arm spin bowler. He has played for India, Pune Warriors, Asia XI, Yorkshire, Kings XI Punjab and Punjab.
He is an authentic all rounder who can change the complexion of the game with his superb performance. His aggressive and competent batting in the middle order gives him a prominent position among the other players and his match winning bowling is an additional advantage for the captain.
The 30-year-old played his first Test vs. New Zealand on October 16, 2003, at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh. He took part in 37 Tests, scored 1775 runs at an average of 34.80, the best of 169 with 3 hundreds and 10 half centuries.
Yuvraj has claimed 9 wickets at an average of 55.66, the best of 2-9 in an innings and 2-20 in a match. He is known better for his bowling in the shorter versions of the game where he has recorded many match winning performances. He played his last Test on November 14, 2011, against West Indies at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane was born on June 5, 1988, in Ashwi-KD, Maharashtra, a right hand top order batsman and an occasional right-arm medium fast bowler. He has played for India (in ODIs and T20s), India Blue, India Under-19s, India A, Mumbai , Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians.
Rahane is an elegant batsman who has scored plenty of runs in first class cricket in the last few seasons. He possesses all cricketing shots narrated in the cricket books and plays all types of bowling at ease.
The 24-year-old youngster has played 57 first class games, hammered 5291 runs at an excellent average of 60.01, the best of unbeaten 265 with 19 centuries and 21 fifties. He has a bright future ahead of him, he can serve India as a top order batsman for a long time to come and is a strong candidate for the Test spot.
The news of the formidable team was released to the media by the chief selector Sandeep Patil. The meeting of the selection committee was held at the Cricket Centre of Mumbai and the Indian skipper, MS Dhoni was also present. Patil commented on the team selection by saying,
“We have selected three openers, not four, Ajinkya Rahane has been picked as a middle-order batsman. We have tried to provide the captain and the team management with a backup option for all departments. We have an extra spinner, top-order batsman, middle-order batsman and pacer.”
Squad for first and second Tests:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Cheteshwar Pujara, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha, Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay, Zaheer Khan.
The first Test of the four match series will start on November 15, 2012, at Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad.