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Harbhajan, Kartik back for Tests

Last updated on: November 14, 2007 16:03 IST

The spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Murali Kartik made a Test comeback for India when they were named in the 14-member squad for the first two Tests against Pakistan.

Ranadeb Bose, Ishant Sharma, Ramesh Powar and Gautam Gambhir, who were in the team that played the Test series in England, were dropped, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Newly-appointed captain Anil Kumble was present at the selection committee meeting.

Anil Kumble (left) and Dilip Vengsarkar at the selection committee meeting in MumbaiOne-day and Twenty20 captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been named vice-captain of the squad for the first two Tests against Pakistan.

Harbhajan, who has taken 238 wickets in 57 Tests, last played in a Test eleven in April-May 2006.

Kartik's absence from the Test rankings has been even longer. The left arm spinner, who played only eight Tests since his debut in 1999-2000, last figured in the final eleven against South Africa at Kanpur in 2004-05.

The Railways' bowler's improved performance in the one-day format since his recall out of the blue against Australia in the previous home series merits a comeback, especially in home conditions.

India will play a three-Test series against Pakistan, the first of which will be held in New Delhi from November 22 to 26. Kolkata and Bangalore will host the next two matches respectively.


India: Anil Kumble (captain), Rahul Dravid, SachinTendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V V S Laxman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (v/c & wk), Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Wasim Jaffer, RP Singh, S Sreesanth, Murali Kartik and Dinesh Karthik.

Photograph: Arun Patil

Harish Kotian in Mumbai