Millennium Post

No Yuvraj in squad; Patel, Binny get nod

The wait is over. India’s 15-member squad for next month’s ICC ODI World Cup was revealed by the BCCI on Tuesday with very few surprises in it. Overlooking Yuvraj Singh, master chef of India’s WC winning recipe four years ago, the Sandeep Patil-led five-man selection committee picked injured all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and rookie left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who will become eligible to marry when he turns 21 exactly two weeks from now.

Jadeja is nursing a shoulder injury which he sustained during a training session in the early stages of India’s ongoing tour Down Under.

Karnataka all-rounder Stuart Binny also made the cut while in-form batsmen Murali Vijay and Robin Uthappa didn’t find a place in the side announced by BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel. “Jadeja at present is undergoing rehabilitation programme. He is doing wonderfully well. We had detailed discussion with BCCI physio (on his inclusion) and we are confident that he will return to training within 10 days,” Patel said on Jadeja’s fitness. He further said Yuvraj and few other players’ names were discussed but the selectors, as well as skipper MS Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher, who were on conference call, decided otherwise. The selectors also announced the team for the ODI tri-series which will follow the Test matches in Australia involving the hosts and England. Apart from the 15 picked for WC, Dhawal Kulkarni and Mohit Sharma have been included.

The squad has only four players, skipper Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin, from the 2011 World Cup winning squad, a clear indication of looking to the future. Besides 2011 ‘Player of the World Cup’ Yuvraj Singh (33), the selectors also ignored his 2011 teammates Harbhajan Singh (34), Virender Sehwag (36), Gautam Gambhir (33) and Zaheer Khan (36).

Opener Shikhar Dhawan, who struggled in the ongoing Test series against Australia, has also been retained in the squad for mega event to be held from 14 February to 29 March. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane can perform the role of the opener while Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni will bat in the middle order. The squad has three spinners in Ashwin, Patel and Jadeja though it is highly unlikely that more than two will be in the playing XI. The defending champions kick off its campaign against Pakistan in Adelaide on 15 February.

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