Pujara comes in for Sehwag
Cheteshwar Pujara and Virender Sehwag. File photo | The Hindu

Virender Sehwag made way for Cheteshwar Pujara for the first three one-dayers against England this month.

The National selection committee that met here on Sunday announced the team after India’s sensational 10-run victory over Pakistan in the third and final one-dayer, refrained from making more changes to a team that lost the series 1-2.

Sehwag was dropped from Sunday’s match in preference to Ajinkya Rahane.

The team for the last two one-dayers will be announced after the third match in Ranchi on January 19. The first two matches are at Rajkot (Jan. 11) and Kochi (Jan. 15).

The team: M.S. Dhoni (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashoke Dinda, Shami Ahmed.

PTI adds

The squad has been selected for the first three matches and all the other members of the squad that played against Pakistan were retained. Two other non-performers Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma, however, held onto their places despite a string of failures during the past few months.

Sehwag’s axe comes on expected lines as he had managed to score only 238 runs in his last 10 matches with a single half century at an average of 23.8.

There were enough hints about his exclusion once the team management decided to drop him from the playing XI for the third and final ODI against Pakistan here today. Gambhir managed to stay in the team as selectors didn’t want to risk dropping two senior openers keeping the Test series against Australia in mind.

Sehwag has the highest individual score of 219 in ODIs and has tallied 8273 runs from 251 ODIs with 15 centuries. But at the age of 34 with slowing reflexes and problem with the incoming delivery, it will be very difficult for the dashing opener to make comeback into the shorter format.

Pujara, who has been in terrific form having scored 761 runs in nine Tests with three centuries has also been a prolific limited overs player for India A and Saurashtra.

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