India put faith in Zaheer progress
India have shown their confidence in paceman Zaheer Khan’s recovery from injury by naming him in their Test squad to face Australia, subject to match fitness.
"Zaheer will play in a couple of Ranji Trophy matches. And once he is fully match-fit and everything is fine, he will join the side," Kris Srikkanth, the chairman of India's selectors, said. "He may also go with the team as by the time [the team leaves] he would have played a couple of matches."
Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin are the two specialist spinners in a 17-man party, with Harbhajan Singh continuing to be overlooked in all international forms.
Medium-pacer Praveen Kumar returns in place of leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who was a non-playing squad member during the 2-0 win over West Indies that culminated today in a thrilling draw with the scores level.
Yuvraj Singh, who will miss the one-day series against West Indies because of a lung infection, fellow batsman Suresh Raina and seamer Munaf Patel are again omitted.
India have two warm-up matches before a four-Test series, starting at Melbourne on Boxing Day, two Twenty20 internationals and a triangular one-day series also featuring Sri Lanka.
Test squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain & wicketkeeper), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Zaheer Khan (subject to fitness).