Sachin Tendulkar has been rested for the first three ODIs of the seven-match series against England which begins on November 14 in Rajkot. Yusuf Pathan makes his return to the ODI squad as Praveen Kumar, Parthiv Patel and Irfan Pathan are the absentees from the team that played in the last ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Tendulkar had requested that he be rested, citing the heavy workload as the reason, and the selectors kept that in mind when they met in Nagpur on Wednesday evening to pick the team. He was expected to play this series after last featuring in the CB series in Australia back in April. A groin injury picked up during the tournament kept him away from the Kitply Cup held in Dhaka and the Asia Cup in Pakistan that followed.
The surprise inclusion in the 15-man squad is M Vijay who has been named in place of S Badrinath. Vijay was a eleventh-hour addition to the squad for the final Test against Australia on Tuesday evening as cover for the banned Gautam Gambhir after his impressive performances this season.
A tall, solid opening batsman, Vijay was an instant success in his debut Ranji season, finishing as the third-highest run-getter with 628 runs in seven games at a 50-plus average.
He was India A’s leading scorer in a two-Test series against New Zealand A, the second-highest run-getter in the recently-concluded Challenger Trophy while turning out for India Red. He also scored 243 in Tamil Nadu’s opening Ranji fixture against Maharashtra, before he earned his maiden Test call-up.
Badrinath, a late inclusion himself on the tour to Sri Lanka in August after Tendulkar was ruled out of the five-match ODI series, made his debut in the second match in Dambulla. An unbeaten 27, which took to India to victory, was followed by two disappointing and identical scores of 6 in the next two matches. He also captained India Red during the Challenger Trophy scoring 93 in the three games at 31.00.
The other changes to the previous squad are Virender Sehwag, who missed the ODIs in Sri Lanka because of an ankle injury, and Ishant Sharma, who was rested from the series in Sri Lanka.
India Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt & wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, RP Singh, Virat Kohli, M Vijay