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Irfan Pathan, VRV and Ishant picked for 3rd Test

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The Indian Selectors headed by the Chairman Dilip Vengsarkar have made three changes for the third Test at Bangalore which starts from the 8th. Injuries have ruled out Zaheer Khan (heel injury) and Munaf Patel (back strain). RP Singh, who did field in the 2nd Test at Kolkata hasn’t been picked to give further rest before the Australian tour. The Selectors also named 24 probables for this month’s tour of Australia. Anil Kumble has been named as the Captain for this tour.

The Selection Committee has named Irfan Pathan, VRV Singh (also referred as Vikram Singh) and Ishant Sharma in the squad for the third Test. Two of them is expected to make it to the final XI. Delhi opening batsman Gautam Gambhir also finds a place in the squad which might send the signals to the team management to drop Dinesh Karthik after his failures in the first two tests. Yuvraj Singh has retained his place in the side and is unlikely to play the third test as the middle order has performed well for India. He is likely to be released to play for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy if its known that he is out of the 12 for the last test.

The 24 probables picked for the Australian tour doesn’t include the name of Virender Sehwag, who was instrumental in India drawing the Test Series last time around in 2003. Sehwag misses out despite smashing a blistering 195 in a single day’s play of the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne in 2003. His opening partner of that tour and statemate Aakash Chopra finds a place in the probables after strings of good scores in this season’s Ranji Trophy. For Sehwag, the current domestic season hasn’t produced any runs for him which has given little scope for his comeback in the Indian Team. Sehwag was also dismissed for a first ball duck in the three matches he has played so far.

Parthiv Patel has been named in the probables too after his improvement with both the bat and the gloves in the recent past. Likewise, Ajit Agarkar has also found a place which could most probably be because of his wonderful performances including the match winning show at Adelaide in the last tour. The other pacers that are included are Irfan Pathan, Rajasthan’s Pankaj Singh, Ranadeb Bose and VRV Singh along with the tested trio of Zaheer, RP and Munaf. The Selectors were supposed to name the squad today but they have decided to postpone it during the third test as they are fitness concerns about few players. India have already suffered a huge blow by losing Sreesanth because of a shoulder injury which will put him out of the first two test atleast.

India Squad for third Test : Anil Kumble (Captain), Dinesh Karthik, Wasim Jaffer, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Vice-Captain and Wicket Keeper), Yuvraj Singh, Murali Kartik, Irfan Pathan, Vikram Singh, Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan Singh

India Probables for Australia Tour : Wasim Jaffer, Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik, Aakash Chopra, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), Yuvraj Singh, Parthiv Patel (Wicket Keeper), Anil Kumble (Captain), Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, RP Singh, Irfan Pathan, Vikram Singh, Ishant Sharma, Ajit Agarkar, Ranadeb Bose, Pankaj Singh