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Sachin returns, Laxman retained in squad for NZ Tests

By Bikash Mohapatra
Last updated on: August 10, 2012 15:44 IST
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The Indian team for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand has been named.

And there are no major surprises.

Sachin Tendulkar made an expected return to the team while VVS Laxman, despite his woeful run of form in the series against Australia, retains his place.

The retirement of Rahul Dravid following the tour Down Under has led to the inclusion of promising Saurashtra youngster Cheteshwar Pujara, while another promising talent, Ajinkya Rahane, who was part of the team in Australia but didn't play in a single match, also keeps his place.

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Suresh Raina has also been included while Rohit Sharma's recent form ensured his exclusion.

As regards the bowlers, Ishant Sharma has recovered from the injury that ruled him out of the IPL and included, while Piyush Chawla joins R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha in the three-pronged spin attack, meaning Harbhajan Singh - out of the team since the second Test against England in Nottingham - will complete a year on the sidelines.

The home series against New Zealand starts with the opening Test in Hyderabad on August 23 before the teams move to Bangalore for the second Test, starting 31st August.

The team: MS Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha, Piyush Chawla, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma.

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Bikash Mohapatra

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