New Delhi:Murali Kartik and Harbhajan Singh got a recall as the selectors announced a 14-member squad for the first two Tests against Pakistan in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Perhaps the most significant decision from the selection was that MS Dhoni replaced Sachin Tendulkar as vice-captain.
Newly appointed Test captain Anil Kumble also attended the selection meeting. Kumble has been a popular team-man and as a skipper he did not take any unpopular desisions. The team for the first two Tests hardly had any surprises.
Kumble reinstated his fellow craftsman, Harbhajan Singh in the Test side after 17 months. The off spinner will be playing his first Test since the tour of West Indies in 2006.
His recent form has been consistent and controlled and since his comeback Bhajji has taken seven wickets in the nine one dayers against Australia and Pakistan.
Irfan Pathan and Gautam Gambhir missed the cut and so did the Nawab of Najafgarh, Virender Sehwag.
Despite a career Test average of 50 and a Test average of 90 against Pakistan, Sehwag could not manage a place in the squad. Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer are the only openers in the squad.
Gambhir, despite his fine showing in the one-dayers and Twenty20, was left out.
Dhoni may have got Pathan to open the bowling in the last one dayer but Anil Kumble and the selectors weren't as impressed.
Ramesh Powar, Ranadeb Bose and Ishant Sharma have also been dropped.
Murali Kartik, who impressed with his bowling against Australia and Pakistan, has also been given a berth.
Tucked away in a television studio as an expert, Kartik made a stunning comeback against Australia. He picked six wickets in the final ODI in Mumbai, vindicating Dhoni's faith in him.
That faith has now been reposed on him by skipper Anil Kumble as well. Murali makes a comeback to Tests after three years, his last appearance was in the 2004 series against South Africa.
Squad: Anil Kumble (C), Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V V S Laxman, M S Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Wasim Jaffer, R P Singh, S Sreesanth, Murali Kartik, Dinesh Karthik.