India are set to stick to their tried and tested combination when they take on Pakistan in the first Test at the Feroze Shah Kotla in New Delhi, starting on Thursday.
- Images: Kumble begins spell at the helm
Captain Anil Kumble hinted that the experienced VVS Laxman would retain his place in the middle order even though Yuvraj Singh has made a strong case with his recent batting form in ODIs.
"It is tough on Yuvraj. He has showed tremendous form and given his quality he is really important for Indian cricket moving forward I am sure," said Kumble, on the eve of his first Test as captain of the Indian team.
"But he will have to probably wait a little longer to become a permanent fixture of the Test side. It is unfortunate because of the circumstances we have, atleast for this game. He will have to wait for this game. That is the way it is."
Yuvraj has been in sparkling form in the last few months and was the highest scorer for India in the recently-concluded ODI series against Pakistan.
The left-hander made 272 runs in five matches at an average of 68, including four half-centuries, but still hasn't been able to cement his place in the middle order in the longer version of the game.
"He is a great player and I am sure the Indian batting will revolve around him very soon. But as of now, he will have to wait," Kumble added.
Also, he added that the team would feature two spinners, which includes him and Harbhajan Singh, effectively ruling out the return of left-arm spinner Murali Kartik. Harbhajan last played a Test for India in June last year in the West Indies.
"It's not that I need to disclose anything. But we will certainly to look to go in with the best combination that we believe that we will be able to get us 20 wickets. At this point of time, it will certainly be me and Harbhajan Singh, who will be the spinners for this game," the veteran spinner said.
Zaheer Khan will share the new ball with Munaf Patel, who was brought in as cover after RP Singh and S Sreesanth were ruled out with injury. Delhi youngster Ishant Sharma has also been added to the squad.
The 37-year-old Kumble will be leading India for the first time in Tests replacing Rahul Dravid, who stepped down as the captain after the England tour.
Probable team: Anil Kumble (captain), Wasim Jaffer, Dinesh Karthik, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, M S Dhoni (w/k), Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel.