The Sandeep Patil-led BCCI selection committee on Thursday named a new-look Indian side for the two-Test series against West Indies, which is also the farewell series for Sachin Tendulkar.
In spite of his erratic performance in the ongoing ODI series against Australia, Ishant Sharma was able to retain his place, while Rohit Sharma was included for his good show with the bat opening the batting since being called back into the limited-overs squad. Also rewarded was Bengal pacer Mohammed Shami, who impressed with his pace and swing against the Aussies. Umesh Yadav, who was dropped for the seven-match ODI series, also makes a comeback in the five-day format.
The name of Ravindra Jadeja was missing from the 15-member squad. But the BCCI press release clarified that he wasn't dropped but only rested due to a shoulder strain. "Ravindra Jadeja has a shoulder strain. The Physiotherapist of the Indian team has advised two weeks' rest for him, after the end of the ODI series against Australia, as a precautionary measure," the release read.
The selectors named four seamers - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant, Yadav and Shami - and three spinners - Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra in the squad led by MS Dhoni.
Patil and Co. also kept faith in out-of-form opener Murali Vijay, who will partner Shikhar Dhawan at the top.
Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh, who made their way back to competitive cricket after a fitness stint in France recently, were ignored, along with Suresh Raina. Harbhajan Singh too was overlooked despite his nine-wicket haul in the winning cause for Punjab against Odisha in the Ranji Trophy opener.
BCCI arranged a two-Test series against Australia after doubts were raised over India's tour of South Africa. That provided Tendulkar a chance to retire in front of his home fans, which he later announced in an official mail to the Indian board.
The first Test will be held at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata from November 6-10, while the second, also Tendulkar's 200th, will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt/wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Ajinkya Rahane, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma