The out-of-favour opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were handed a lifeline by the national selectors on Tuesday when they were included in the India 'A' squad for the second and third four-day matches against the touring West Indies 'A' later this month.
Cheteshwar Pujara will lead the team in the three four-day matches, while Yuvraj Singh was named skipper for the limited-overs series, which comprises three one-day games and a T20 match.
Pacer Zaheer Khan and Mohammad Kaif ,who both have been included in the squad for two four-day games, also get a chance to win the confidence of the selectors.
It is an ideal opportunity for these senior India discards to impress the selectors ahead of the Test series against the West Indies next month.
The squad for the first four-day match includes young Karnataka batsman KL Rahul, who played a key role in India's Under-23 Asia Cup triumph last month, and Manprit Juneja, who hit 193 for India ‘A’ against New Zealand ‘A’ in the second unofficial Test in Visakhapatnam.
Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parveez Rasool, who missed out on an international debut in the five-match ODI series in Zimbabwe, gets another opportunity to stake claim for a place in Team India.
Irfan Pathan and his brother Yusuf were named in the India 'A' squad for the limited-overs’ series, which also includes youngsters Unmukt Chand and Baba Aparajith.
India 'A' squad for 1st four-day game: Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Jiwanjot Singh, KLRahul, Manprit Juneja, Rajat Paliwal, Harshad Khadiwale, Parvez Rasool, Bhargav Bhatt, Ishwar Pandey, Mohmmad Shami, Ashok Dinda, Rohit Motwani (w/k), Dhawal Kulkarni, Paras Dogra.
India A for 2nd and 3rd four-day games: Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sheldon Jackson, Abhishek Nayar, Paras Dogra, Uday Kaul (w/k), Parvez Rasool, Bhargav Bhatt, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zaheer Khan, Ishwar Pandey, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Kaif.
India 'A' squad for the three One-Day games and a T20: Yuvraj Singh (captain), Unmukt Chand, Robin Uthappa, Baba Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Naman Ojha (w/k), Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Jaydev Unadkat, Praveen Kumar, Sumit Narwal, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mandeep Singh, Rahul Sharma.
September 15: 1st One-dayer, Bangalore
September 17: 2nd One-dayer, Bangalore
September 19: 3rd One-dayer, Bangalore
September 21: - T20, Shimoga
September 25 to 28: - 1st four-day game, Mysore
October 2 to 5: - 2nd four-day game, Shimoga
October 9 to 12: - 3rd four-day game, Hubli
Image: Gautam Gambhir and Virdner Sehwag
Photograph: Photograph: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters