Kolkata: Cracking the whip after India’s another humiliating defeat against England in the Kolkata Test, Indian selectors dropped Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh and included allrounder Ravindra Jadeja, legspinner Piyush Chawla and pacer Parvinder Awana for the fourth Test, starting in Nagpur from December 13.
In a meeting in Kolkata, the Sandeep Patil-led selection panel also announced India's squad for the two Twenty20 matches against England. Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan were the notable absentees from the 15-member squad, while Jadeja, Chawla, Manoj Tiwary, Awana and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were drafted into the squad.
After their victory in the opening Test of the four-match series in Ahmedabad by nine wickets, India tasted back-to-back drubbings, a ten-wicket loss in Mumbai and a seven-wicket defeat in Kolkata, in the next two matches.
While Jadeja and Awana were rewarded for their performance in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season, Chawla's inclusion was seen as bringing more versatility to the side. Jadeja has already scored his second triple century, his third overall, in this season. Along with his batting, he has also taken 20 wickets with his left-arm spin.
Awana, the Delhi pacer, too has been in form, picking up 21 wickets so far this season, including two five-fors against Haryana and Karnataka. Chawla has taken nine wickets in three matches this season and has also scored 156 in team's outing against Maharashtra.
Yuvraj started the England series with a 74 in the first innings of the Ahmedabad Test, but looked out of sorts in the remaining innings, making 0, 8, 32, 11 in Mumbai and Kolkata. Zaheer, team's pace spearhead for the last few years, was below-par in the last three Tests, taking just four wickets. The expulsion of Harbhajan didn't come as a surprise as he was already released before the Kolkata Test to play first class cricket.
About Sehwag's surprise exclusion from the Twenty20 squad, BCCI said that the opener has made himself unavailable. "Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan were unavailable for the AIRTEL T20 International series against England, and were therefore not considered for the same," BCCI said in statement.
Tiwary, who has made tons of runs for Bengal in domestic cricket, has been in and out of the Indian side in limited overs cricket. The 27-year-old has played eight ODIs for India so far and his unbeaten century against West Indies in Chennai last year seemed to have given his career a new turn. But an injury this year put paid to his chances as he could play only two more matches after that. Of his three Twenty20 matches for the national side, he got the chance to bat only in his debut match in which he made 15.
Bhuvneshwar, the Uttar Pradesh allrounder, has been included for the first time. Along with his 44 first class matches in which he has scored 1770 runs and taken 145 wickets, he has also represented his state team in 31 List A and 25 domestic T20 matches.
Team India for 4th Test: MS Dhoni (c), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Ishant Sharma , Pragyan Ojha, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Dinda, Murali Vijay, Parvinder Awana
Twenty 20 squad: MS Dhoni (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Laxmipathy Balaji, Parvinder Awana