Veteran batsman Gautam Gambhir is all set to be released by the Indian team management as the Delhi and District Cricket Association's selection committee has named him in the 16-member Delhi squad for the upcoming Ranji Trophy match against Rajasthan.
Gambhir, who failed in both innings of the first Test against England in Rajkot, was left out as a fit-again KL Rahul was drafted back as the opener.
Ishant Sharma, who is also not in the playing eleven, has been named as the 16th member but the selection committee is still not sure whether he would be released as the fast bowlers are normally kept for bowling at the nets.
The match, beginning November 21 at Wayanad in Kerala will feature Shikhar Dhawan, who is making a comeback after recovering from a thumb injury.
"The selectors have spoken to Gautam and he has expressed his interest in playing the next round encounter as he will be getting valuable match time. That is the reason we have named Gautam in the squad. In case, we don't get him, we have kept Himmat Singh as cover," a member of the selection panel said on Thursday.
The press release issued by DDCA does not mention the name of the captain but it is learnt that skipper Unmukt Chand told the selection panel that he would like Gambhir to captain the team.
The meeting was attended by selectors Nikhil Chopra, Atul Wassan, Robin Singh Junior along with coach KP Bhaskar, Chand and Co-Convenor Siddharth Sahib Singh.
Squad: Gautam Gambhir, Unmukt Chand, Shikhar Dhawan, Dhruv Shorey, Milind Kumar, Nitish Rana, Rishabh Pant, Manan Sharma, Pradeep Sangwan, Navdeep Saini, Sumit Narwal, Vikas Tokas, Sarthak Ranjan, Pulkit Narang, Varun Sood, Ishant Sharma.
Image: Gautam Gambhir