When the national selectors meet in Vizag on Tuesday to pick a 15-member India ‘A’ squad for the upcoming home series against West Indies ‘A’, it is very unlikely that 30-plus players — Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan — trying to make a comeback will figure in their discussion.
Rather than looking back, the selectors want to look forward, at least for the 'A' team series. Squads for the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy, to be played from September 26, too will be picked on Tuesday and Gambhir and Yuvraj might make the cut with an eye on the seven-match home ODI series against Australia to be played in October.
However, with the ODI squad comfortably settled, it could be a very long road ahead for either Yuvraj or Gambhir before they play for India again. Sehwag and Zaheer, The Indian Express has learnt, are no longer in the scheme of things in the shorter formats. But with Delhi playing in the Challengers this season, Sehwag is expected to feature in the tournament. Zaheer is unlikely to make the cut either for India ‘A’ or India ‘B’. Yuvraj, on the other hand, is no longer considered for Test cricket, though he has an “outside” chance to return to the ODI fold provided he proves his fitness and form.
According to a source, only Gambhir still figures in the list of probables for all formats but he will have to “convince the selectors” that he's returned to his peak form.
Asked about Gambhir and Yuvraj, a source close to the selection committee said: “The basic idea for the ‘A’ series is to look ahead and not to look back. But they're likely to play the Challengers. The India ODI squad picks itself. But who knows, a few good knocks might open the door for them.”
About Sehwag and Zaheer, he said: "It would be very surprising if they are brought back to the ODI fold. As far Test cricket is concerned, they must earn their places."
According to a selector, the performances during India A's tour of South Africa and the