Yuvraj Singh is fast emerging as the new comeback prince of Indian cricket. Just like Mohinder Amarnath and Sourav Ganguly, the Punjab southpaw is also making it a habit of storming back into the national team each time his epitaph is written.

This time he has made it into the 15-member squad that was picked on Monday for the lone T20 and the first three one-dayers against Australia, starting on October 10. Yuvraj has shown his desire and resilience since he made his grand return to competitive cricket a month back.

According to sources close to the selection committee, though, the doors haven't opened merely because of his stellar knocks.

"He has put in a lot of effort in the off-season and that's showing. He is looking fitter and seems really hungry to do well once again," a BCCI source pointed out.

Yuvraj and Zaheer Khan had spent a month in France, working on their fitness, and that has got him into shape for the season ahead. Since his return, he has played five 50-over games, notching up scores of 123, 40, 61 (against West Indies 'A'), 84 and 29 (in the Challenger Trophy). In the lone T20 game against the Windies, he got a 52 too.

The decision to include the 32-year-old should act as a boost for the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer, who are also trying to return to the India fold. "The door is open for anybody who performs. Performance, and not age, is the criterion," the source added.

Yuvraj's return meant that Dinesh Karthik missed out. Karthik, though, is skipper MS Dhoni's favourite and a few good shows should bring him back into the reckoning. With Baroda's Ambati Rayudu getting the nod as well, M Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane, too, missed the bus.

While there were no surprises in the batting department, the absence of Umesh Yadav from the pace attack raised a few eyebrows. The paceman has worked hard in the off-season, and is fit and raring to go. But the selectors felt that with India scheduled to play six Test matches in two months' time, it was better to keep the spearhead fresh for the longer version.

His figures of 1-85 and 1-67 for India Red in the two Challenger Trophy games might have gone against him though. "There's no reason for Umesh to be disheartened. There are a lot of games coming up and we will rotate our players. Umesh will surely get his chance," the BCCI source informed. The five-prong pace attack includes Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat and Vinay Kumar.

Unadkat and Shami, after impressive shows in the last ODI series in Zimbabwe, got the nod, while Vinay edged out Mohit Sharma. Mohit's performance (3 wickets from two games with an economy rate of 3.18) was better than Vinay's in Zimbabwe, but the latter was chosen because of his experience and his skill in the death overs.

The spin trio was an easy choice with R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra walking in.

Squad: MS Dhoni (Capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ambati Rayudu, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat.

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Keywords:Yuvraj Singh,Indian cricket,e Mohinder Amarnath, Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan,Challenger Trophy,Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir , Dinesh Karthik , MS Dhoni,Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat , Vinay Kumar, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja , Amit Mishra,Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat.