Gautam Gambhir [ Images ] has been dropped while Harbhajan Singh [ Images ] has been recalled to the Indian squad for the first two Tests against Australia [ Images ], the Indian selection committee announced in Mumbai [ Images ], on Sunday.
Shikhar Dhawan [ Images ], the in-form Delhi [ Images ] player, will replace the out-of-form Gambhir as the opener. Gambhir, will in turn, replace Dhawan and lead the the India [ Images ] 'A' squad for the three-day match against Australia in Chennai from February 16.
Tamil Nadu opener Murali Vijay [ Images ] has also retained his place in the squad. This means veteran Wasim Jaffer [ Images ], who has plundered runs for Mumbai in domestic cricket this season and was considered a contender because of those efforts, misses out.
The selectors preffered to go with three spinners, meaning Harbhajan Singh, dropped from the final two Tests against England [ Images ], makes a return. He replaces leg-spinner Piyush Chawla [ Images ], who played in the fourth Test against England in Nagpur.
The promising Bhuvneshwar Kumar will comprise an Indian pace triad that also includes Ishant Sharma [ Images ] and Ashok Dinda [ Images ]. Zaheer Khan [ Images ] and Umesh Yadav were not considered for selection as they are yet to recover from their injuries.
The first Test of the four-match series will be played in Chennai from February 22.
Team: MS Dhoni [ Images ] (captain), Virender Sehwag [ Images ], Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara [ Images ], Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ], Virat Kohli [ Images ], Ravindra Jadeja [ Images ], Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha [ Images ], Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane [ Images ], Ashok Dinda, Murali Vijay and Ishant Sharma.
|Feb 22-26||First Test||Chennai||0930 IST|
|Mar 2-6||Second Test||Hyderabad||0930 IST|
|Mar 14-18||Third Test||Mohali||0930 IST|
|Mar 22-26||Fourth Test||Delhi||0930 IST|