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The tour of England starts from June 26 and concludes on September 7 during which the Indians will play five Tests , an equal number of ODIs and one Twenty20 International. The left-handed Gambhir’s return to the Test squad was on expected lines after he rediscovered his form in the domestic circuit and had been in good touch in the IPL 7. Injured pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha were the notable
omissions from the squad The 32-year-old’s last Test appearance for India was way back in 2012 in the home series against England. Rajasthan pacer Pankaj Singh, 29, has been rewarded for his consistent form in the goneby Ranji season during which he picked 45 wickets but his name was
not in the reckoning for a place in the Test team. Binny’s inclusion came as a bit of a surprise but the selectors might have considered the utility of his gentle medium pace bowling in the seaming conditions in England. Barring Binny and Pankaj’s inclusion, there were no other surprises in the squad for England which has been packed with a host of pace bowlers to capitalise on the seamer-friendly conditions. The side features seven pacers, led by the gangling Ishant Sharma, and just two spinners in Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Apart from adding the experienced Gambhir, the batting line-up has not been tinkered with. Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan are the two openers, followed by Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma. Wriddhimaan Saha has been taken on board as backup for Dhoni, who is the team’s firstchoice wicketkeeper. The selectors continued to ignore veteran Virender Sehwag, who has done his case no good by continuing to under-perform in the domestic arena.Only three players — Dhoni, Ishant and Gambhir – of this chosen squad of 18 have the experience of playing Tests in England. The England tour commences on June 26 with a three-day game in Leicester. The visitors are to play one more warm-up three-day game against Derbyshire (July 1-3) before the five- match Test series starts on July 9 at Trent Bridge. The other Tests are to be played at Lord’s (July 17- 21), Ageas Bowl in Southampton (July 27-31), Old Trafford (August 7-11) and The Oval (August 15-19). The Tests would be followed by the five-match ODI series commencing on August 25 at Bristol before India would wind up the visit by playing a one-off T20 international against the hosts on September 7 at Edgbaston. Incidentally, the Dhoni-led team was comprehensively beaten 4-0 in the four-game rubber in 2011, India’s previous full tour to England and this visit gives it a chance to make amends. India Test squad for England ” MS Dhoni (capt. & wk),M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Pankaj Singh” In: Gautam Gambhir, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Pankaj Singh ” Out: Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Ambati Rayudu


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