The BCCI Selection Committee on Thursday showed the door to out-of-form off-spinner Harbhajan Singh by ignoring him in the 15-man squad, while resting SachinTendulkar and VirenderSehwag for the first two ODIs of the five-match series against England.
The Kris Srikkanth-led Selection Committee instead called up young leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, while retaining R Ashwin in the squad as the specialist off-spinner. Medium-pacer S Aravind was the other new face in the new-look Indian team.
GautamGambhir also returned to the ODI squad after having recovered from the concussion he suffered during the Test series on the tour of England.
Vidharba paceman Umesh Yadav and Jharkhand speedster Varun Aaron too figured in the team announced by the new BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale after a marathon meeting of the selection committee here.
The national selectors have picked as many as five fast bowlers and three spinners in Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin and Sharma.
Other than Tendulkar and Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma - all of whom are nursing injuries - were not considered.
Karnataka pacer Aravind has taken 68 wickets from 20 first class matches with an average of 27.11 in his career so far with five for 49 being his best effort. In Twenty20 cricket, he has taken 37 wickets in 28 matches at an average of 18.72.
Twenty four-year-old Sharma, a leg break bowler who plays for Punjab, made an impression in the last IPL with his economical bowling and was similarly rewarded for his performace in the domestic arena.
The lanky spinner, who overcame a facial nerve dysfunction which effected his vision early in his career, has taken 16 wickets in nine first class matches. His Twenty20 record is better having scalped 29 wickets in 28 matches at an economy rate of 6.40.
The selectors opted to give Sharma an opportunity rather than go for the more experienced spinners such as, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra and Piyush Chawla.
The first ODI of the five-match series will be played in Hyderabad on October 14, while Delhi will host the second game on October 17. Mohali (Oct 20), Mumbai (Oct 23) and Kolkata (Oct 25) will stage the other three matches.
Kolkata will also conduct the lone Twenty20 match against England on October 29.
MS Dhoni (c/wk), Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, S Aravind, Rahul Sharma, Manoj Tiwary