Cancer survivor Yuvraj Singh to face NZ

NZ Newswire August 11, 2012, 11:08 am

Yuvraj Singh has fought back from cancer to be named in India's Twenty20 cricket squad for the home series against New Zealand.

Flamboyant left-hander Yuvraj, 30, completed chemotherapy in the United States in April. He has not played competitive cricket since two home Tests against the West Indies last November.

Selection marks the end of a long and traumatic period which began last year with breathing difficulties, nausea and bouts of vomiting before he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer - mediastinal seminoma.

A delighted Yuvraj tweeted that it seemed he was making his debut all over again.

"Can't explain how I feel!" he wrote. "Feels like I'm going to play for India for the first time. It's a special day for me.

"When I was diagnosed with cancer I always thought in my heart that one day I will come back and play for India."

VVS Laxman, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Piyush Chawla and Ajinkya Rahane have been included for the two-Test series while Rohit Sharma has been left out of the Test squad after a lean period with the bat.

The first test is in Hyderabad starting on August 23 and the second in Bangalore from August 31. They are followed by Twenty20 internationals on September 8 and 11.

The Twenty20 squad had a handful of surprises, most notably the recall of the legspinner Chawla - in both squads - offspinner Harbhajan Singh and the seamer L Balaji.

Chawla last played for India during the 2011 World Cup, and his previous Test goes back a further three years.

Laxman's future as a Test batsman was in doubt after a poor tour of Australia, where he only managed 155 runs in eight innings.

Chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth said the best possible Test team had been picked.

The Twenty20 squad was named with an eye to conditions at the World T20 in Sri Lanka which follows.

Test squad: MS Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha, Piyush Chawla, Ishant Sharma.

T20 squad: MS Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Irfan Pathan, R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, L Balaji, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh, Ashok Dinda.

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