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End of road for ‘famous five’, young guns call shots

With the selectors opting to ignore the out-of-favour seniors, there were no major surprises on offer in the list.

Apart from the ‘famous five’, seamers Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and all-rounder Yusuf Pathan were among those axed from the list named by BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel after a meeting of the national selection committee.

While you can never deny the contributions made by the famous quintet, the selectors’ decision to invest in youth with an eye on future does make sense. Sehwag (age 36) hasn’t played an ODI in 23 months, Gambhir (33) last played a 50-over international in January 2013, Zaheer (36) is out of favour for over two years now, Harbhajan’s (34) last ODI dates back more than three years while Yuvraj (32) last played ODI one year back in December 2013. Thursday’s decision, in all likelihood, brings the curtains down on the one-day careers of five of India’s most successful cricketers in recent times.

Coming back to the list, J&K all-rounder Parveez Rasool, Uttar Pradesh spinner Kuldeep Yadav, batting duo of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav and spinner Axar Patel benefitted from their consistent performances in the domestic circuit. The selectors included all-rounder Stuart Binny and in-form batsman Manoj Tiwary and young wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson in the list which would be further pruned to 15 in early January ahead of the World Cup starting February 14.

Eleven players from the 2011 World Cup-winning squad will not be seen in action when the team goes Down Under to defend the trophy. While most of them have been ignored for poor form, Sachin Tendulkar has retired and pacer S Sreesanth has been banned for spot-fixing.

Of all the players ignored, Yuvraj’s journey has been the most dramatic. The left-handed batsman was named Player of the Tournament for his fantastic run in the 2011 World Cup but his career took a hit after he had to undergo treatment for rare form of germ cell cancer between his lungs. The deadline for submitting the condensed squad to ICC is January 7.
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