Rohit earns spot in Test team, Ishant retained

Mumbai, Oct 31 (IANS) Rohit Sharma has earned his place into the 15-member Indian Test team for the home series against the West Indies beginning at the Eden Gardens Nov 6. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been rested owing to a shoulder strain while struggling pacer Ishant Sharma retains his place.

Veterans Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh were ignored while announcing the squad here Thursday.

Speedster Umesh Yadav, who was forced out of the Australia series, returns to the fold after impressive performances in the ongoing ODI series against Australia.

Mohammed Shami is the new face in the pace department and he will be giving company to Yadav, Ishant and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra form the spin attack.

Jadeja, who has taken 25 wickets in five Tests with an average of 19.85, has been advised rest for a couple of weeks.

"Jadeja has a shoulder strain. The physiotherapist of the Indian team has advised two weeks' rest for him, after the end of the ODI series against Australia, as a precautionary measure," said a BCCI release.

The surprise selection was of Ishant, who has not delivered in the recent past. His record in the longest format isn't inspiring, the Delhi bowler having taken 144 wickets in 51 games at 37.99. He has not taken more than three wickets in an innings since July 2011.

"Ishant Sharma gets rewarded for non performance yet again ... Strange selection that," tweeted former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar.

"Ishant Sharma 21 wickets in last 13 tests at an average of 58 runs per wicket," he added.

A noticeable omission was of Zaheer, who worked hard on his fitness in France and picked up five-wicket hauls in successive first class games against the West Indies and Haryana. However, he could still be in the reckoning for the South Africa tour.

Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, R. Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Ajinkya Rahane, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma.

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