Mumbai: Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir was today recalled while all-rounder Stuart Binny and unheralded paceman Pankaj Singh were the surprise picks in an 18-member Indian squad for the Test series against England starting in the last week of June.
Injured pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha were the notable omissions from the squad announced by the BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel after a marathon meeting of the selection panel here.
The Sandeep Patil-led selection committee also announced the squad for a three-match ODI series against Bangladesh which would precede the tour of England.
Suresh Raina would lead the 15-member squad which would be devoid of big stars such as regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma among others.
Raina, incidentally, was not even a member of the Asia Cup held in Bangladesh prior to IPL after his indifferent form in ODIs held earlier.
Spin spearhead R Ashwin and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja have also been rested from the squad for Bangladesh which will play three ODIs in Mirpur on June 15, 17 and 19.
Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parveez Rasool has found a place in the squad for Bangladesh which also marks the return of in-form batsman Robin Uthappa, who has been a prolific scorer in the ongoing IPL.
The Bangladesh-bound squad features new faces in Maharashtra batsman Kedar Jadhav and left-arm spinner Akshar Patel of Gujarat.
The tour of England starts from June 26 and concludes on September 7 during which the Indians will play five Tests , an equal number of ODIs and one Twenty20 International.
The left-handed Gambhir’s return to the Test squad was on expected lines after he rediscovered his form in the domestic circuit and has been in good touch in the ongoing IPL as well despite starting with three consecutive ducks.
The 32-year-old’s last Test appearance for India was way back in 2012 in the home series against England.