India axe Sehwag, Harbhajan

New Delhi, June 12:

India on Tuesday axed aggressive batsman Virender Sehwag and spinner Harbhajan Singh from both the Test and one-day squads for the upcoming tours of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Lanky seamer Ranadeb Bose, 28, was the only uncapped player in a 16-man squad for the three Test matches against England starting at Lord’s on July 19.

Promising Mumbai batsman Rohit Sharma, 20, is the new face for the one-dayers against Ireland, South Africa and Pakistan in Belfast and Glasgow between June 23 and July 3.

Veteran Test player Chandu Borde, who turns 73 next month, will manage both teams in the absence of a regular coach after South African Graham Ford turned down the Indian board’s offer on Monday.

Captain Rahul Dravid will have Sachin Tendulkar as his deputy for the Test series, while wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named vice-captain for the one-dayers. Tendulkar and another senior pro Sourav Ganguly, who were rested for last month’s one-day series in Bangladesh, were expectedly included in both squads.

Bose forced his way into the Test team after emerging the most successful bowler in the Ranji Trophy first-class tournament with 57 wickets in eight matches for Bengal.

Bose will be part of a five-man seam attack alongside Zaheer Khan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh and Ishant Sharma, who made his Test debut in Bangladesh. The Test squad has only two specialist spinners in Anil Kumble and Ramesh Powar.

Rohit Sharma is one of the country’s emerging batsmen, scoring 531 runs from eight Ranji Trophy games in only his second season in domestic cricket.

Chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar said Sehwag and Harbhajan were left out due to their prolonged poor form. “Both need to work on their game,” said Vengsarkar. “I am

confident they will be back soon because they are very good players.”

India open against Ireland at Belfast on June 23 followed by three one-day internationals against South Africa at the same venue on June 26, 29 and July 1. This will be followed by another one-dayer against Pakistan in Glasgow on July 3 to raise funds for charities of the Prince of Wales.

India will play three Test matches and seven one-dayers against England on the full tour which runs from July 19-September 8.

TEST SQUAD: Rahul Dravid (capt), Sachin Tendulkar (vice-capt), Wasim Jaffer, Dinesh Karthick, Gautam Gambhir, Sourav Ganguly, Venkatsai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Dhoni, Zaheer Khan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh, Ishant Sharma, Ranadeb Bose, Anil Kumble, Ramesh Powar.

ODI SQUAD: Rahul Dravid (capt), Mahendra Dhoni (vice-capt), Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Karthick, Rohit Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh, Ajit Agarkar, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar.