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Yuvraj axed, Pujara included for Australia Tests

Last updated on: September 21, 2010 01:13 IST
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The Indian selectors on Monday sent out a clear message with regard to Yuvraj Singh's future as a Test cricketer by axing him from the squad for the forthcoming Test series against Australia next month.

His place in the team was taken by Saurashtra middle order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, one of the most successful batsmen in domestic cricket in the last few years. The right-hander is seen as the next in line to make it to the Indian middle-order after a highly successful run in domestic cricket.

The 22-year-old is a run-machine, having aggregated 3925 runs in 49 first class matches, at an average of 60.38, with a highest score of 302 not out.

He will get a chance to showcase his talent during the three-day tour match between the Indian Board President's XI and Australia, in Chandigarh from September 25-27.

Cheteshwar PujaraPujara captained India A on the recent tour of England and Scotland, during which he scored 776 runs in 10 matches. He also hit a double hundred in the four-day match against the West Indies A on the same tour.

Yuvraj missed the second Test against Sri Lanka in July due to fever and could not make it back to the squad after his replacement Suresh Raina hit a century on debut and then scored 62 and 41 not out in his next two innings.

Zaheer Khan, who missed the Test series against Sri Lanka due to a shoulder injury, was included in the place of Munaf Patel.

Gautam Gambhir is also back in the team after missing the second and third Tests against Sri Lanka because of swelling in his knee.

Pacer S Sreesanth, who was also hit by an injury in Sri Lanka and ruled out of the tour before the start of the two-Test series after his knee gave way, is also back in the squad.

Abhimanyu Mithun and Wriddhiman Saha, who toured Sri Lanka, failed to find a place in the squad.

The first Test is in Mohali from October 1-5, while the second will be played in Bangalore from October 9-13.

India squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, S Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra.

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