India vs Australia 2013: Indian squad announced for T20I and first 3 ODIs; Yuvraj Singh returns

Yuvraj Singh has been rewarded for his good show in domestic cricket

2011 World Cup Man of the Tournament, Yuvraj Singh has made a comeback to the national team for the limited overs series against Australia in October.

The 15-member Indian squad was announced today for the only T20I and first 3 ODIs. India will play a 7-match series against Australia, starting from 10th October, when the T20I is scheduled to take place in Rajkot.

This Indian squad features 4 changes from the side which won the Champions Trophy earlier this year. Yuvraj Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Mohammad Shami Ahmed and Jaydev Unadkat have replaced Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Irfan Pathan and Umesh Yadav in the team.

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Yuvraj’s comeback was expected after the southpaw led India Blue to lift the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy in Indore yesterday.

After getting treated for a rare germ cell cancer in 2011, Yuvraj had made his first comeback last year against New Zealand at home. But despite occasional knocks in World Cup T20 and Pakistan, he was dropped from the side after the ODI series against England in January earlier this year due to inconsistent performances, and below par fitness.

After repeated failures in IPL, Yuvraj Singh joined Zaheer Khan in getting the services of Tim Exeter, a renowned French trainer, in getting back to shape as he toiled hard in France, working diligently on his fitness.

A much leaner and fitter Yuvraj made his return this year when he was named the captain of the India A side against the touring West Indies A. On his first match in about five months’ time, he smashed a brilliant 123. His strokes were fluent and he looked to be making his way back to his best.

Encouraging scores of 40, 61, 52, 84 followed for India A and India Blue, as Yuvraj looked much better placed to make a comeback to the national side this year, and got the deserved call-up.

Dinesh Karthik, the man he replaces, didn’t have a good showing after IPL this year and though he was included in the squad for Champions Trophy and subsequent tours to West Indies and Zimbabwe, he didn’t have consistent scores to show for it.

Umesh Yadav too has struggled recently, and didn’t perform up to expectation for India Red in Challenger Trophy, while Irfan Pathan’s latest injury, which ruled him out of the Challenger Trophy, left him out of contention for the Indian squad too.

Jaydev Unadkat and Shami Ahmed, the pacers replacing Yadav and Pathan in the side, haven’t really set the domestic stage on fire, but were ahead in the pecking list and had occasional good spells to boast of.

Ambati Rayudu, who made his international debut in the ODI series against Zimbabwe, wasn’t just impressive against the minnows, but also followed it up with scores of 70, 57, 32 and 34 in the limited over tri-series between India A, South Africa A and Australia A in the South Africa.

After the only T20I in Rajkot, the teams will travel to Pune, Jaipur, Mohali, Ranchi, Cuttack, Nagpur and Bangalore for the 7 ODIs. Here’re the full details of the tour.

Squad: MS Dhoni (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ambati Rayudu, Shami Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat.

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Nishit Nakar
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