Sehwag recalled, Panjak lone fresh face in Indian squad

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Bangalore, Dec 12 (UNI) Hard hitting Delhi batsman Virender Sehwag was recalled while Rajasthan medium pacer Pankaj Singh was rewarded a place for his good show in the India-A team as BCCI today announced the 16-member squad for four-Test series against Australia in the tour that begins on December 20.

The selection went on the expected lines, with Sehwag making a comeback despite not being in the 24-member probables list announced here by the BCCI on December 5.

Murali Karthik had to miss the bus as there was place for only two spinners while Munaf Patel was not sufficiently fit and has been asked to play in domestic matches. The others who were left out from the probables list were Ajit Agarkar, Ranadeb Bose, Piyush Chawla, Akash Chopra and Parthiv Patel.

Announcing the squad at the end of the third and final Test between India and Pakistan here, BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah said, ''Gautam Gambhir has suffered a shoulder injury and needs three week's rest and Munaf has been asked to play in local first class matches and regain full fitness.'' The inclusion of Sehwag, who had done well in the previous tour Down Under -- hitting a blistering 195 in Melbourne in a single day, was on the expected lines.

The injury of Gambhir seemed to have paved the way for the Delhi opener to make a comeback.

The two players who were left out of the squad that played against the Pakistan in the third Test that ended today were Punjab speedster VRV Singh and and Bengal pacer Ranadeb Bose.

Pankaj, who had impressed the selection committee, had taken 73 wicekts in 23 first class mataches. He broke into the India A side and toured Kenya and Zimbabwe and played against South Africa A team at home.

Dinesh Karhik has retained his place despite not being consistent against the Pakistanis in the just ended series.

His timely half century today seemed to have helped him as he was preferred over Parthiv Patel who had done very well in the current Ranji season.

Injuries to S Sreesanth and exclusion of Munaf Patel have helped both Irfan Pathan and Ishant Sharma winning the berths.

While Pathan performed credibly with the bat and bowled quite well on a docile pitch, Ishant returned with his maiden five-wicekt haul in the Pakistan first innings in the third Test.

The squad: Anil Kumble (capt), M S Dhoni (vice capt), Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V V S Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Saurav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, R P Singh, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Wasim Jaffer, Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Karthik, Pankaj Singh.

UNI

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