Zaheer Khan has made an expected comeback to India team Test squad for the tour of South Africa, but Gambhir has failed to force his way back despite scoring a century for Delhi in his team's Ranji Trophy win against Haryana.
Zaheer Khan last appeared for India in a Test match against England at Kolkata in December 2012. The 35-year old Zaheer Khan has taken 13 wickets in the Ranji Trophy so far for Mumbai. Fascinatingly, Zaheer Khan, who has played 88 Tests for India, wasn't handed a central contact by the BCCI. Despite scoring 372 runs from 6 innings for Delhi, 32-year old Gambhir has been ignored by the selectors. Dhawan phenomenal run with the bat has ensured that one half of the opening slot remains untouched.
On the bowling front, Ishant manages to retain his place on the roster, following a 9-wicket haul against Haryana at the Ferozeshah Kotla. What he does with the long rope handed to him, is a question that only he can answer. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav will also be donning both the whites and the blues. With conditions ideal for pace bowling, the bowling grouping will be a no-brainer. But with R.Ashwin, Ojha and R.Jadeja also in the squad, Dhoni has a good problem on his hands.
The All-India Senior collection Committee that met in Vadodara also picked Ambati Rayudu, who makes his first appearance in India Test squad. Wriddhiman Saha has been picked as the 2nd wicket-keeper.
This is India 1st Test series without the recently retired Sachin Tendulkar. The Test series between 1st-ranked South Africa and number 2nd India, which was at first scheduled for 4 matches, was curtailed to two to accommodate a farewell home series for him.
India tour starts with a 3-match one-day series, the first of which will be played on December 5. The 2-match Test series starts on December 18th at Johannesburg.