Harbhajan, Kartik expected to get recall into Test squad

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Mumbai, Nov 13 (UNI) The Indian national selectors, under the chairmanship of Dilip Vengsarkar, are all set to recall spinners Harbhajan Singh and Murli Kartik when they pick the squad for the first two Tests in the best of three rubber against Pakistan here tomorrow.

Harbhajan, the 57-Test-old off-spinner with 238 wickets in his bag, last played in a Test eleven in April-May 2006.

The 26-year-old Punjab bowler was not in the team for the tours of Bangladesh and England earlier this year after failing to make it to the playing eleven against South Africa though he was a part of the squad.

Murli Kartik's absence from the Test squad has been even longer.

The left arm spinner, who has played only eight Tests since his debut in 1999-2000, last figured in the final 11 against South Africa at Kanpur in 2004-05.

Stylish middle order batsman V V S Laxman, who is said to be a Test player along with openers Wasim Jaffer and Dinesh Karthick, are also set to be included in the side which will be captained by Anil Kumble.

Veteran batsman Rahul Dravid, who had been unfairly axed from the one-day squad, is however certain to be picked for the Test team after returning to form in the Ranji Trophy with a double hundred against Mumbai while playing for Karnataka.

However, Delhi opening batsman Virender Sehwag's inclusion in the Test side is still not sure and the selectors will make a call between him and his Delhi teammate Gautam Gambhir for a place in the 15. Gambhir's form in the one-dayers is likely to tilt the favours in his favour as is Irfan Pathan, who too will get a recall to the longest form of the game.


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