Selectors repose faith in team


The selectors didn’t press the panic button despite a humiliating 10-wicket loss to England and retained virtually the same squad for the third Test in Kolkata. Pacer Ashok Dinda replaced fast bowler Umesh Yadav in the official squad. Yadav missed the second Test due to a back problem and will miss the third Test as well, starting December 5 at the Eden Gardens.

Dinda was with the squad in Mumbai as cover for the injured Yadav though he wasn’t listed in the reserves. He was seen bowling during the lunch session of Day Three at Wankhede here, aiming at a single stump with bowling coach Joe Dawes watching him keenly.

The Kolkata pacer was also called in as cover for un-fit Ishant Sharma in Ahmedabad ahead of the first Test but was later released to play Ranji trophy game against Gujarat. Dinda was the top wicket-taker in Ranji last season and has been knocking on the doors of Indian team for a Test debut.

Offie Harbhajan Singh was retained in the squad to raise his hopes for 100th Test cap so was his bowling partner R. Ashwin who has been more effective with the bat than his off-spinners while his ‘mystery’ ball is yet to come off.

Sachin Tendulkar’s last 10 innings has yielded just 153 runs at an average of 15.3, the lowest by an Indian top-order batsman in the corresponding period. This year in India he has scored merely 92 runs in six innings and the manner he has been dismissed has raised concerns on his future.

Yuvraj made a solid comeback with 74 runs in Ahmedabad but failed in Mumbai (0 and 8) on a spinning track. His fitness has remained a concern as he hasn’t bowled much and appears to be struggling while chasing the ball in the deep.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who was also part of the selection meeting along with coach Duncan Fletcher had ruled out any major changes to the squad on Monday.

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