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Gambhir fails to make the cut in Test squad

Published: Monday, March 17, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
 
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Bangalore: The in-form Delhi batsman Gautam Gambhir failed to make the cut in 14-member India squad for the first two of three-Test home series against South Africa starting in Chennai on March 26.

Gambhir, who scored a bucketful of runs in the domestic cricket last season and in recently concluded CB tri-series, was dreadfully unlucky to miss the bus as selectors decided to retain the batting line-up featured against Australia and Pakistan in the recent past.

The lanky paceman Ishant Sharma was ruled out owing to toe injury while his fellow tradesman R P Singh, who missed the last two Tests in Down Under due to injury, cleared fitness test to make a comeback.

The lone surprise picking in the squad was left-arm spinner Murali Kartik. Kartik was brought in as third spinner.

Harbhajan and Dhoni, who failed to turn out for fitness tests scheduled at the NCA today, will undergo the tests on March 21 as the BCCI had made it mandatory for the Test players, who were off the field for over a month, to prove their fitness ahead of selections.

The young leg-spinner from UP Piyush Chawla and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Kartik has been named as cover for Bhajji and Dhoni respectively.

In the absence of pace spearhead Zaheer, who is currently undergoing rehabilitation after a surgery to his left heel, and Ishant, Irfan Pathan, S Sreesanth and RP make it to fast bowling ranks for the first two Tests of a three-match series.

Yuvraj, who was nursing knee injury, cleared fitness test to board the Team India bus.

Squad: Wasim Jaffer, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Irfan Pathan, Anil Kumble (capt), Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Sreesanth and RP Singh. Piyush Chawla (as cover for Harbhajan), Dinesh Kartik (stand-by for Dhoni)

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