Zaheer to lead attack in Test, no place for Gambhir

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New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) Veteran India fast bowler Zaheer Khan made a comeback after a year and will be leading the Indian pace attack in the Test series against South Africa next month while there was no place for opening batsman Gautam Gambhir.

The only new face in the 17-member Test squad is Ambati Rayudu, who made his ODI debut in the tour to Zimbabwe in August.

Zaheer last played a Test match against England at home last December. He was recently dropped from the central contract list. Zaheer had done well in the Ranji Tophy, picking 13 wickets, including a five-wicket haul, from the first three matches.

Gambhir was also in good form and also hit a century against Haryana to fashion a big win for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy. Besides Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh, who have also been dropped from the central contracts, were also ignored.

Ishant Sharma’s selection in both the ODI and the Test teams raised a few eyebrows. He was expensive in the ODIs against Australia and conceeded 189 runs from three matches.

India will be play three ODIs and two Tests in South Africa. The three ODIS will be played in Johannesburg (Dec 5), Durban (Dec 8) and Centurion (Dec 11). The two Tests will be held in Johannesburg (Dec 18-22) and in Durban (Dec 26-30).

Test squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicketkeeper), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kolhi, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Ambati Rayudu, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha

One-day squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicketkeeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina,Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane ,Yuvraj Singh, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ambati Rayudu, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra

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