Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh have been ruled out while Karnataka’s new pace sensation Abhimanyu Mithun and Bengal wicketkeeper Wridhiman Saha get their maiden call-up to the Indian squad for the first Test against South Africa beginning Feb 6 in Nagpur.
Dravid, who fractured his jaw after being hit by a lethal Shahadat Hossain bouncer in the second Test against Bangladesh, has been advised three-week rest.
Yuvraj, who was out midway through the Dhaka Test with a ligament injury on his left wrist, has also been rested.
Tamil Nadu batsmen Subramaniam Badrinath and Murali Vijay have benifitted from their absence. Vijay has been retained while Badrinath recalled in the 15-member squad announced by national selectors on Thursday.
Also, fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who flew back home from Bangladesh
after sustaining a hamstring injury in the first Test, has been left out.
Karnataka pacer Mithun, who made a sensational first class debut this season with a hat-trick and a match haul of 11 wickets against Uttar Pradesh in Ranji Trophy, has been drafted in the squad.
Mithun continued with his stellar form to finish with 47 wickets (23.23 avg) in nine Ranji Trophy matches, and together with another fast bowler R.Vinay Kumar (46 wickets, avg 19.69) was instrumental in taking Karnataka to the finals where they lost to Mumbai.
Bengal wicket-keeper Saha was selected ahead of Dinesh Karthik, who was part of the team in Bangladesh series.
The team for the two-day Board President’s XI match against South Africa at Nagpur from Feb 2 was also announced. Rohit Sharma has been named as the captain of the side.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir Murali Vijay, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, S. Badrinath, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan
Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Sudeep Tyagi, Pragyan Ojha, Abhimanyu Mithun, Wridhiman Saha
Board President’s XI team:
Rohit Sharma (captain), Abhinav Mukund, Parthiv Patel (wicket-keeper), Ajinkya Rahane,
Manish Pandey, Cheteshwar Pujara, Abhishek Nayar, Piyush Chawla, R. Ashwin, Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun, Shikhar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav, Manpreet Gony.