Chennai: Out of favour in ODIs due to slump in form and fitness, middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh returned to the 16-member Indian Test squad, along with veteran Rahul Dravid for the three-match away series against Sri Lanka next month.
Both Yuvraj and Dravid had to miss India’s last Test assignment against South Africa at home due to injuries suffered during the Bangladesh Test series early in the year.
Yuvraj, who was dropped from the ODI side for the just-concluded Asia Cup, had missed out against the Proteas due to a ligament injury.
Senior batsman Dravid, who was hit by a rising Shahdat Hossain ball in the Mirpur Test and was advised three weeks’ rest, returned to the side at the expense of S Badrinath.
Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha was preferred over Dinesh Karthik, who failed to get the Kris Srikkanth-led selection panel’s nod despite his decent ODI showing in the Asia Cup, which India won after a gap of 15 years.
Saha had made his debut in Nagpur against South Africa but was left out for the Kolkata match.
Except for this minor shuffling, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led squad is more or less the same that played against South Africa.
The pace attack comprises the troika of Zaheer Khan, S Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma, while the spin department has Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha.
Since Virender Sehwag is nursing a hamstring injury, the selectors have decided to keep Murali Vijay as a back-up opener.
The three-Test series would be played in Galle and Colombo. The first Test is between July 18 and 22 at Galle.
The second and third are between July 26 and 30, and August 3 and 7 respectively in Colombo.
The Team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, S Sreesanth.