Yuvraj Singh will make his cricketing comeback following his battle with cancer in a Twenty20 International against New Zealand on 8th September. He has been named in the 15-man squad which will contest two Twenty20 Internationals against the Kiwis and then the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka later that month. Yuvraj has been battling a rare germ-cell cancer called mediastinal seminoma for over six months and recently said that Twenty20 cricket would be the ideal format in which to make his return.
India’s Twenty20 squad contains several surprises, with recalls for fast-bowler Lakshmipathy Balaji and the previously out-of-favour spin pairing of Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla. Balaji hasn’t played international cricket since 2009 but was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders team which won the 2012 Indian Premier League, while Harbhajan has been out of favour for almost as long. He was dropped following India’s poor tour of England last year and has recently been playing for English county side Essex, where his form has not exactly been sparkling, making his recall perhaps the most surprising. Chawla last played for India during their victorious 2011 World Cup campaign.
Chawla has also been included in the Test squad for the visit of New Zealand. The Indian team will play two Test matches against the Black Caps, the first of which is on 23rd August in Hyderabad. Other notable inclusions in the Test squad are those of batsmen Ajinkya Rahane, VS Laxman and Chesteshwar Pujara, along with fast-bowler Ishant Sharma. Rohit Sharma has been dropped following his recent run of atrocious form.
Kris Srikkanth, in his last selection meeting as chairman of selectors, said of the squads, "We have picked the best possible Test team. We looked at the conditions (in Sri Lanka) for the World T20. We feel that we have picked a team that will win us the World Cup. We are very happy Yuvi (Yuvraj) has been declared fit. In [the] 2011 World Cup, he was the Man of the Series. He is a crucial factor from India's point of view."
India Test squad: MS Dhoni (captain, wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, VVS Laxman, Pragyan Ojha, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Ishant Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Umesh Yadav.
India T20 squad: MS Dhoni (captain, wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Manoj Tiwary.
© Cricket World 2012
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