Mumbai: India’s Champions Trophy aspirations received a jolt when it emerged that dashing opening batsman Virender Sehwag would not feature in the otherwise strong 15 member squad named for the 8 team extravaganza in South Africa next month.
While Sehwag missed the cut due to fitness concerns, India’s batting was bolstered by the return of stalwart Rahul Dravid into Indian one-day team after a 2 year hiatus.
Dravid, who is a regular part of India’s Test set-up, last played an ODI for India way back in the October of 2007 against Australia where he managed just 51 runs from 5 innings.
Dravid’s re-induction seen as a result of India’s Twenty20 World Cup debacle in June this year where the young turks were seen struggling against the short ball.
Meanwhile, as expected, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who off late has been selective when it comes to participation in one-dayers, too makes a comeback into the squad for the showpiece event scheduled for September.
The Mumbai Maestro last played one-dayers for India in February during India’s tour of New Zealand.
Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would shere the willow wielding duties along with the above mentioned gladiators.
Following impressive performances on the domestic circuit and then the IPL in South Africa, young Abhishek Nayar too gets a look in for the Champions Trophy at the expense of Rohit Sharma.
Dinesh Karthick got the nod as the back up wicket keeper in the tournament.
In the absence of Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra would be leading the Indian pace attack in the pacer friendly conditions of South Africa.
They will be supported by prodigious swingers RP Singh and Praveen Kumar.
The spin department would be taken care off by ace offie Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra, with support from all-rounder Yusuf Pathan.
Talented tweaker Pragyan Ojha unfortunately faces omission.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Abhishek Nayar, Dinesh Karthick, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, RP Singh, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra