Opener Gambhir recalled for England test tour

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Opener Gautam Gambhir was named in an 18-man squad announced on Wednesday for an upcoming test series in England.

The left-handed Gambhir, who last played tests for India during a home series against England in December 2012, is seen as a backup for regular openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan.

The 32-year-old Gambhir, who has scored 4,021 runs in 54 tests with 11 centuries, is one of only three in the squad to have played test cricket in England before. Dhoni and pace bowler Ishant Sharma are the other two with test experience in England.

Ishant is the most experienced in a six-man pace attack which is without experienced left-armer Zaheer Khan, who suffered a shoulder injury recently. There is also a seam bowling allrounder in Stuart Binny, who has been picked in a test squad for the first time.

The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led squad, which will be playing India's first five-match test series in England since 1959, has struggled in tests abroad in recent years and was blanked 4-0 on its last tour of England in 2011.

India plays two warm-up three-day games in England before the five-match test series.

The tests will be played at Trent Bridge (July 9-13), Lord's (July 17-20), The Rose Bowl (July 27-31), Old Trafford (Aug. 7-11) and Kennington Oval (Aug. 15-19.)

India will also play five one-dayers and a one-off Twenty20 game during the tour, the team for which will be announced later.

India also named a 15-member squad led by Suresh Raina for a short three-match one-day series in Bangladesh from June 15-17.

Raina, who had failed to make the cut for India's last one-day assignment - the Asia Cup in Bangladesh - was named captain amid speculation that either batsman Rohit Sharma or off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin would lead a second-string side.

But as it turned out, Sharma and Ashwin were also rested for the series along with Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The matches of the India-Bangladesh one-day series will be played in Mirpur on June 15, 17 and 19.


India squads:

For England test series: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Pankaj Singh.

For Bangladesh ODI series: Robin Uthappa, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina (captain), Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav, Wriddhiman Saha, Amit Mishra, Parvez Rasool, Akshar Patel, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma.