Life line! Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer, Yuvraj get a chance to fight back
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Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh, who had all lost their Team India places over the last one year, now have an opportunity to fight their way back. The national selectors, who met in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, have included the first three in the India A squad for two four-day matches against West Indies A, while they have named Yuvraj captain for the limited-overs leg of the contest, which begins on September 15. Also Read: Kaif gets 'A' foothold
Cheteshwar Pujara, who led India A during their recent tour of South Africa, will lead the four-day team in three unofficial Tests. The first of these will feature a young squad including the likes of Jiwanjot Singh, KL Rahul and Manprit Juneja. Sehwag, Gambhir and Zaheer, meanwhile, are in the squad for the second and third four-day games. Mohammad Kaif, who last played a Test for India in 2006, was a surprise inclusion in this squad. Also Read: Never thought I would captain stalwarts, says Pujara
Sehwag last played for India during the Test series against Australia in March, while Gambhir and Zaheer were dropped from the Test side after the home series against England. Yuvraj Singh lost his place in the ODI side after the home series against England in January. All were ignored for subsequent India A assignments but were given this lifeline with the selectors mindful of the long season ahead. India will play the West Indies at home, before touring South Africa, New Zealand and England, all in the next one year.
In their time away from the national side, Yuvraj and Zaheer travelled to Brive La Gaillarde, France, to work on their fitness over the course of an intense six-week camp. Zaheer is now in Cape Town to train under former India coach Gary Kirsten. Gambhir, in his bid to recover form, signed for English county side Essex. All this, perhaps, also weighed on the selectors' minds.