x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Pujara gets nod ahead of Yuvraj

Yuvraj Singh has been left out of the India squad for the two Tests against Australia next month.

The world's No 1 Test side have dropped the batsman for the series - which begins on October 1 - due to his recent poor form and replaced him with 22-year-old Cheteshwar Pujara, who has impressed selectors with his performances in the domestic Ranji Trophy and the Indian Premier League. Sachin Tendulkar is included after being rested for the recent tri-series in Sri Lanka, while Gautam Gambhir, the opening batsman, returns after injury. Suresh Raina, who scored a century against Sri Lanka on his Test debut, was also named in the squad.

On the bowling front, Ishant Sharma retains his spot, while Zaheer Khan and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, his fellow pacemen, are set to make comebacks following injuries kept them out of the Sri Lanka tour. Harbhajan Singh will lead the spin attack, alongside Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha. Krishnamachari Srikkanth, India's chief selector, said: "The team almost automatically picks itself by the sheer weight of performances, in domestic cricket and otherwise.And we are confident of doing very well against Australia."

The tourists will play Tests in Mohali (October 1-5) and Bangalore (October 9-13) followed by a three-match one-day international series. * Agencies