Indian batsmen Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman as well as pace bowler Ishant Sharma have recovered from injuries that led to their exclusion from the second test against Australia. The trio have been included in the side for the three-test series against New Zealand beginning on Nov 4th at Ahmedabad. Owing to their remarkable performance in the absence of Gambhir and Laxman, Chesteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay also find a place in the 15-member squad which will include Amit Mishra and Sreesanth as reserves.
All three of the recovering players were intermittently off the field during the test match at Mohali. Gambhir and Sharma had to contend with knee injuries while Laxman was battling severe back spasms. Fixed up with injections and pain-killers, Laxman and Sharma put on 81 runs for the ninth wicket on the final day to take India to a memorable win against Australia. But all three were forced to sit out of the test at Bangalore.
Vijay and Pujara demonstrated that they have what it takes when Gambhir and Laxman sat out. Vijay scored a gritty century when India were 38 for 2 in the first innings while Pujara hit 72 playing one-down in a triumphant chase of 207. Both were impressive in the infield as well. It seems that Sreeshant who bowled well but without much success, will be replaced by Sharma.
M S Dhoni won't have a back-up keeper since he has shown confidence with his recovery from back trouble and a finger injury earlier this year.
Kris Shrikkanth, chairman of the Indian selection committee is satisfied with the performance of the new-comers. The junior players have gelled well with the seniors. I am confident that our players will continue their victory march," he said.