Harbhajan out, Maiden International Calls for Aravind, Rahul

Chennai, Sep 29 (IANS): India's cricket selectors dropped an out-of-form Harbhajan Singh for the first two ODIs against England, slated for Oct 14 and 17, while giving maiden international call-ups to Karnataka medium-pacer Srenath Aravind and Punjab leg-spinner Rahul Sharma.

Harbhajan was axed for his poor performance in England. He picked up just two wickets in 69.4 overs in the Tests and picked up a stomach infection in the second Test and subsequently was ruled out of the next two Tests and the ODIs. India suffered a whitewash in the four-match Test series and lost the ODI series 0-3.

Jharkhand fast bowler Varun Aaron, who was part of the ODI squad in England but did not play, retained his place in the 15-member team along with batsmen Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary and Parthiv Patel. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav also made a comeback. The team was announced by newly-appointed secretary Sanjay Jagdale.

The Krishnamachari Srikkanth-led selection also left out injured players like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma.

Fast bowler Ashish Nehra, who had declared himself fit after recovering from a finger fracture, and all-rounder Yusuf Pathan were ignored by the selectors.

The selectors decided to drop Harbhajan after the off-spinner's disappointing show in the Tests and ODIs in England.

This selection meeting in Chennai was the first since the BCCI replaced Yashpal Sharma with Mohinder Amarnath as the North Zone representative on the panel.

The first ODI of the five-match series will be held in Hyderabad, Oct 14 and Delhi would host the second, Oct 17. The remaining three ODIs will be held in Mohali (Oct 20), Mumbai (Oct 23) and Kolkata (Oct 25). The one-off Twenty20 will also be held in Kolkata, Oct 29.

Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicketkeeper), Gautam Gambhir, Parthiv Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Srenath Aravind, Rahul Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Praveen Kumar.


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Title: Harbhajan out, Maiden International Calls for Aravind, Rahul

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