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Dravid Returns After 2 Years, Harbhajan Dropped From ODI team

PTI 06 Aug 2011, 16:51:50 IST

Chennai, Aug 6: Rahul Dravid returned to one-day international after a gap of two years, when he was selected today for the ODI series against England.

The selectors have dropped Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh because of their injuries.

Team India selectors met here on Saturday morning and announced the 16 member squad for oneday series against England due to start from Aug 31.

Yuvraj hurt his fingers during the last test match against England, while Harbhajan Singh was dropped because of his poor performance.

India will play five one-dayers and a twenty-twenty match against the host England after completion of ongoing test series.

Dravid's recent form in test matches and his ability to counter the swing and seam of English bowlers compelled selectors to chose him.

Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel and R Ashwin also feature in the 16 member squad.

Ashwin has proved his ability with the ball earlier also and he can turn on the seaming wicket as well.

Dravid has scored centuries in both matches of an ongoing four-test series, which England leads 2-0. He last played an ODI in the 2009 Champions Trophy in South Africa.

India has been struggling with its batting in the seam-friendly conditions of England, forcing selectors to draft in the 38-year-old Dravid, who has scored 10,765 runs in 339 one-dayers, including 12 centuries and 82 half-centuries.

Dravid was a key player for the team that reached the 2003 World Cup final. He also played in the 2007 World Cup as India crashed out at the preliminary stage. However, he hasn't been a regular in subsequent one-day squads.

Dravid has figured in all four editions of the Indian Premier League but has regularly declined to play Twenty20 internationals like Sachin Tendulkar.

India's chief selector, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, said after a selection committee meeting that the team would miss Yuvraj, who was instrumental in India winning this year's World Cup.

“Both Yuvraj and Harbhajan will have to prove their fitness before being considered for the national team,” Srikkanth said from Chennai. “Yuvraj is our main player but you can't do much when you have a fracture.”

Yuvraj is nursing a fracture to his left index finger while Harbhajan is out with a stomach injury.

Parthiv Patel will be the stand-by wicketkeeper, replacing Wriddhiman Saha, who is touring with the test squad.

There were no other surprises. Ravichandran Ashwin is expected to be the main spinner with legspinner Amit Mishra the second specialist slow option.

Zaheer Khan leads a five-man seam attack.

Team India:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma, Pravin Kumar, Suresh Rain,Zaheer Khan,Vinay Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Parthiv Patel.