The National selection panel, which met here on Saturday night, has named five pacemen for India's forthcoming three-Test series in South Africa.
While the selection of Zaheer Khan, S. Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma was on expected lines, the Indian pace attack also has young left-armer Jayadev Unadkat and the pacy Umesh Yadav.
Yadav, who can make the batsmen hurry their strokes, has been included to add an element of speed to the attack. The panel believes Zaheer will recover from his fitness concerns.
Significantly, Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha are the lone spinners.
The wise men expect the pitches in South Africa to be seamer-friendly.
Wriddhiman Saha will be the reserve wicket-keeper. M. Vijay is the extra opener while Cheteshwar Pujara is the reserve middle-order batsman.
Gambhir named skipper
The selectors have also named opening batsman Gautam Gambhir as the Indian captain for the first two games of the five-match ODI series against New Zealand, beginning at Guwahati on November 28.
A BCCI press release said Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer and Harbhajan “were not considered for the ODI series due to injury concerns which require attention and rehabilitation.”
For first two ODIs against New Zealand: G. Gambhir (capt.), M. Vijay, V. Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, S. Raina, S. Tiwary, W. Saha, R. Ashwin, P. Kumar, R. Vinay Kumar, M. Patel, S. Sreesanth, Y. Pathan and R. Jadeja .
For three-Test series in South Africa: M.S. Dhoni (capt.), V. Sehwag (vice-capt.), G. Gambhir, R. Dravid, S. Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, S. Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, S. Sreesanth, M. Vijay, C. Pujara, W. Saha, J. Unadkat, U. Yadav and P. Ojha.