Mumbai: Injured Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and S. Sreesanth have been left out of the 15-man squad for the opening test against South Africans in Nagpur, starting from February 6.
Dravid had fractured his jaw in the second test against Bangladesh in Dhaka and has been advised to have three weeks" rest, while Yuvraj has an injury to his left wrist.
Sreesanth is suffering from a hamstring strain and is expected to recuperate for the second Test in Kolkata, starting from February 14.
“Even a good cricketer like Yuvraj (Singh), he has also got injured. He has also been out. With regard to Sreesanth, he has been ruled out for the first Test match. So, we all are hoping what happened to fitness levels during…just before the first Test match, we will get the report and accordingly take a call on the second Test match after we get a 100 percent approval about their fitness, be it Yuvraj, Rahul or Sreesanth," said Kris Srikkanth, chairman of India''s cricket selection committee.
India vs South Africa Test Series - Fixture
Meanwhile, selectors have brought in new faces to replace the injured regulars. Middle-order batsman S. Badrinath, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha, and medium-fast bowlers Abhimanyu Mithun and Sudeep Tyagi have been included.
“Mithun as you all know has done brilliantly in what you call this particular domestic season and one of the most important aspect that we look for is good fast medium bowlers because in test matches cricket especially, fast medium bowlers are very important," Srikkanth said.
India and South Africa will play to defend their number one Test ranking.
Team India will lose their No. 1 spot if the lose the series 2-0, while a 1-0 loss will leave both teams level on 123 rating points.
Indian squad includes: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Sachin Tendulkar, Vangipurappu Laxman, Subramaniam Badrinath, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Sudeep Tyagi, Pragyan Ojha, Abhimanyu Mithun, Wriddhiman Saha.