No Dravid, Pathan in India’s preliminary WC squad

Mumbai: Veteran batsman Rahul Dravid and off-colour pacer Irfan Pathan failed to find a place in India’s 30-strong list of probables announced on Saturday for next year’s ODI cricket World Cup in the sub-continent.

In a squad which didn’t offer any major surprises, youngsters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were included along with established stars such as Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.

The squad would be pruned to half by next month and chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth said whatever be the final combination, it would do well at the quadrennial mega-event starting February 19 and to be played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“As you know there are no big surprises. This is a probables team and everyone selects himself. There is one more month to go to select the final team and we will sit down and think calmly before finalising the team,” Srikkanth told reporters here after a meeting of the selection panel.

“I am confident that the team will do well in the World Cup. They have been doing well in one-day cricket. The World Cup is happening in the sub-continent and I am confident that the team will do well,” he added.

Apart from the omission of the 37-year-old Dravid, who has not played an ODI since September last year, and Pathan, on the sidelines since February 2009 in ODIs, there aren’t any surprise selections.

The batting list expectedly features Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina. The 22-year-old Pujara along with Virat Kohli are among the youngsters picked in at least the preliminary squad.

The bowling line-up is also on the expected lines with the pace attack led by Zaheer Khan featuring Ashish Nehra, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel and Ishant Sharma.

The spin department has the experienced Harbhajan Singh along with Amit Mishra, Piyush Chawla, Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin.

Apart from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the probables list has three other wicketkeepers in Parthiv Patel, Wriddhiman Saha and Dinesh Karthik.

List of probables for World Cup: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, M Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Saurabh Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, Wriddhimaan Saha, Dinesh Karthik, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Piyush Chawla, Cheteshwar Pujara, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar.