Gautam Gambhir has been dropped while Harbhajan Singh has been recalled to the Indian squad for the first two Tests against Australia, the Indian selection committee announced in Mumbai, on Sunday.
Shikhar Dhawan, the in-form Delhi player, will replace the out-of-form Gambhir as the opener. Gambhir, will in turn, replace Dhawan and lead the the India 'A' squad for the three-day match against Australia in Chennai from February 16.
Tamil Nadu opener Murali Vijay has also retained his place in the squad. This means veteran Wasim Jaffer, 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, makes a return. He replaces leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, 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 and Ashok Dinda. Zaheer Khan 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 (captain), Virender Sehwag, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, 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|