10 September, New Delhi
Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha appeared to be the surprise inclusion in the list of 30 probables selected for the preparatory camp, to be held in Bangalore from September 21 to 27.
The BCCI senior selection committee today named the list of probables for the upcoming Mahatma Gandhi – Nelson Mandela series against South Africa. The Proteas will play India in three Twenty20 Internationals, five One Day Internationals and four Tests against India from October 2 to December 9.
Ojha, who last represented India in November 2013, in the farewell series for batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar against the West Indies at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai was the surprise inclusion in the list which comprises of most of the regulars in the side.
Despite bagging 10 wickets and the man-of-the-match award in the Test, Ojha was overlooked by the selectors, only to be banned for suspect action last year and later cleared by the BCCI in February this year.
The 28-year-old left-arm spinner had recently moved to Bengal after representing Hyderabad for decade in the domestic circuit.
Besides Ojha, another left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who recently spun India A to a comprehensive win against South Africa A also made the cut in the list.
Patel, who was criticised by batting legend Sunil Gavaskar as ‘not being a Test cricket material’, showed his class against the junior Proteas side with his bowling figures of four for zero in six overs to guide India A win by an innings and 81 runs.He also accounted for five wickets in the first innings of the match.
The list also included seamer Mohammed Shami, who was out of national reckoning following an injury after the World Cup. It will allow the right arm pacer to test his fitness before the gruelling series.
List of Probables: M S Dhoni (wk), Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Naman Ojha (wk), R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Karun Nair, Suresh Raina, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohit Sharma, Karn Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Manish Pandey