India have recalled Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Murali Vijay to their squad for the first two Tests against England, leaving out Suresh Raina.
Raina led India 'A' in a drawn tour game against England but has been overlooked with Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane included as specialist batsmen along with Yuvraj.
Sachin Tendulkar, fresh from a century for Mumbai in the first round of the Ranji Trophy, is expected to feature leaving three spots up for grabs in the middle order.
Rahane impressed by scoring a half-century against England playing for India A - where Yuvraj added a five-wicket haul to a knock of 59.
There was, however, no place in the squad for Manoj Tiwary, who impressed many by scoring 93 in the same match - Vijay preferred as an option with both he and Rahane available to open the batting if required. India's established opening partnership of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag has come in for some criticism recently but the selectors have kept their faith in a partnership that averages more than 50 runs per innings.
With off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and slow left-armer Pragyan Ojha becoming established as India's two frontline spinners, Harbhajan - a veteran of 98 Tests - will provide back-up, coming in to replace Piyush Chawla.
The fast bowlers selected are Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.
The opening Test begins in Ahmedabad on 15th November and the second Test gets underway on 23rd November in Mumbai.
India Test squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Pragyan Ojha, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Virender Sehwag, Ishant Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav, Yuvraj Singh
© Cricket World 2012
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