Sehwag dropped from squad, Pujara in
Hours after being replaced by 24-year-old Ajinkya Rahane for the third and final One-day International against Pakistan, Virender Sehwag was handed another demotion. The national selectors decided to give Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, the Test No.3, a One-day International call up.
The 24-year-old was picked in the 15-member squad for the first three matches of the upcoming five-match series against England that starts with the game at Rajkot on Friday. Pujara had pushed his case when he scored 202 off 221 balls; the last 50 of that innings coming off just 17 deliveries, against MP last week in Ranji Trophy.
"Pujara has been included to provide batting stability. Under the new rules, it has become imperative for someone to anchor the innings and his role will be exactly that. It's up to the team management to decide his position," said a selector.
Sehwag has struggled to make an impact in recent months and since his double century against West Indies 13 months ago he averages in the early 20s. At 34, Sehwag who is considered a liability in the field, 'will find it extremely difficult to make a comeback', a source in the Indian cricket board added. In his last 10 ODI innings, Sehwag could only score 238 runs at 23.80. The extended lack of form and poor agility while fielding means Sehwag is not in the picture as India prepare to build a team for the 2015 World Cup.
Pujara's inclusion was the only change to the squad that lost 1-2 to Pakistan. Rohit Sharma was given 'one last opportunity', despite having a total of 89 runs in his last 10 innings. With Manoj Tiwary and Irfan Pathan both unfit, the selectors decided to stick with Sharma.
Squad: M S Dhoni (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Shami Ahmed.
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