BCCI selectors on Tuesday dropped Yuvraj Singh from the ODI squad for the five-match series on the tour of New Zealand, starting January 19 at Napier, but rewarded Madhya Pradesh pacer Ishwar Pandey with a maiden call-up to both ODI and Test squads. Also Karnataka allrounder Stuart Binny has been rewarded for his consistency with a call-up to the ODI squad.
Yuvraj, since his comeback to the Indian side, has had a string of low scores and has not done much with the ball either. Meanwhile, Binny, who has been included as a batting allrounder, and Pandey have performed consistently in the domestic circuit. Binny, 29, has played 53 first-class matches for Karnataka and scored 2714 runs at an average of 34.79, besides taking 79 wickets.
However, Cheteshwar Pujara was again overlooked by the selectors for the ODIs.
Pandey was the leading wicket-taker in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy, with 48 scalps and he has continued his form in current Ranji season as well. In eight games this season, he has 30 wickets at 24.76, including innings figures of 8 for 84 against Railways.
Middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who impressed with his performances in Tests in South Africa, has been retained in the Test squad. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan also retained their place in the Test side despite their woeful performance in the two Tests in South Africa.
Pacer Varun Aaron has also been included in the squad in place of Mohit Sharma, who failed to impress in the West Indies and South Africa ODIs. The Test side, that lost the two-match Test series 1-0 in South Africa, will also be without left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who didn't get a game their.
The 17-man Test squad has six seamers while R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be the spinners. Amit Mishra has been left out of the Test team but is there in the ODI side. Ambati Rayudu, who was part of both the Test and ODI squads for the tour of South Africa, has been retained. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav also found a place in both the squads despite a mediocre tour of South Africa.
The five ODIs will be held at Napier (Jan 19), Hamilton (Jan 22 and Jan 28), Auckland (Jan 25) and Wellington (Jan 31). The two Tests will be hosted by Auckland (Feb 6-10) and Wellington (Feb 14-18).
Team India will also play a two-day warm-up match in Whangharei from February 2, followed by the two-match Test series in Auckland (Feb 6 to 10) and Wellington (Feb 14 to 18).
ODI squad: MS Dhoni (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron
Test squad: MS Dhoni (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishwar Pandey
With agency inputs