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Zaheer, Umesh set to spearhead attack

india Updated: Jan 15, 2012 01:47 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
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The national selectors are set to continue with Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav for the long tri-series in Australia, which also features Sri Lanka.

Umesh and Zaheer's availability will give the selectors a reason to smile when they meet in Chennai on Sunday to finalise the squad for the Twenty20 and One-day series starting February 1.

If the inclusion of the pace duo was not enough to offer a ray of hope to India, who would be aiming to repeat their 2008 tri-series heroics, then Praveen Kumar and Irfan Pathan's selection would certainly add to the team's confidence.

While Praveen has recovered from his mysterious injury that forced him to skip the home ODI series against the West Indies, Pathan was impressive on his return to international cricket in the one-off game he featured in against the Windies.

Both Praveen and Irfan had played a pivotal role in India clinching their maiden tri-series title in Australia.

Tendulkar available
Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar is set to make his first appearance in an ODI since the World Cup final on April 2.

The player, who has not featured in a bilateral ODI series for nearly two years, is likely to be named in the squad, which could prevent either Ajinkya Rahane or Manoj Tiwary from retaining their place in the ODI side.

Likely squad: MS Dhoni (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane/ Manoj Tiwary, Parthiv Patel/ Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Irfan Pathan, R Ashwin, R Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Praveen Kumar, Pragyan Ojha/ Rahul Sharma.