India's squad for the Ashes (not really)

India announced its squads for the ODI's against New Zealand, and also for the Tests in South Africa. As expected, they picked the former keeping the latter in mind, which means that several key players have been rested. Dhoni (but not Raina) gets permission from the BCCI to take a nap, while Sachin, Sehwag, Zaheer and Harbhajan apparently have 'injury concerns'. Sure, we're not taking New Zealand lightly at all. It's obvious that the ODI rankings don't mean a lot to the BCCI, so they think like me. But only in that regard.

Never underestimate the Selectorial ability to spring a surprise. Try to spot them in the squad:

Gautam Gambhir (capt), M Vijay, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Saurabh Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, R Vinay Kumar, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja.

Here's stuff I didn't expect:

1) Gambhir being made stand-in captain. Doesn't he have enough on his plate, bad form, injuries and all?
2) Saha completely replacing Karthik as back-up keeper, He's in the Test squad too.
3) Yusuf getting another go at taking the all-rounder spot from Jadeja.
4) My breakfast becoming cold.

Saha isn't too great a batsman, so him sticking around would be a surprise to me.

As for the Tests in the South Africa, here's that squad:

MS Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Sreesanth, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Jaidev Unadkat, Pragyan Ojha.

Full-strength team, full-strength back-up players. It's clear that we're playing three quicks in South Africa, because Mishra wasn't picked, so Ojha is the back-up spinner. Umesh Yadav gets a call-up and Unadkat retains his place. Given their lack of experience, I shudder to think what'll happen if there's an injury to our first-choice bowlers. Then I un-shudder, it doesn't bother me that greatly.

Should be awesome. The top 8 Test teams are all in action, leaving Bangladesh to play with themselves. Wooden golf clubs and all.