Chennai: The Indian cricket selectors on Monday named the 15-member squad for the upcoming cricket World Cup. While Rohit Sharma did not find a place in the team, both Piyush Chawla and R Ashwin were included in the squad.
There was no major surprise in the offing but a lot of brainstorming is said to have happened on a couple of spots when the five-member selection panel sat down to pick India`s final 15-member squad. Apart from the selectors, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Gary Kirsten also, reportedly, attended the meeting through video conferencing.
The selection also cleared doubts over veteran Sachin Tendulkar`s availability after he pulled out of the remainder of the ODI series in South Africa as a precautionary measure after sustaining a hamstring injury during Saturday`s second match.
The batting line-up has all the familiar and established stars.
The opening slots have been filled by Virender Sehwag, and Gautam Gambhir while reserve opener Vijay has been shown the door.
The middle-order features the never to be underestimated Yuvraj Singh, who returned to form in the second ODI with a well-made 53, and the young duo of Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli.
The ongoing ODI series in South Africa was supposed to give a chance to the probables to prove their worth but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had already poured cold water on suggestions that the performance there would make much of a difference to the World Cup squad.
"Not really, as not just one performance will matter. Guys who have worked hard for the last year-and-a-half they may get a chance.”
On the bowling front, India did not have much of a pool to choose from. The inspirational Zaheer Khan leads the attack and will have his pacer partners in the form of Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel and Praveen Kumar.
Harbhajan Singh will spearhead the slow bowling department and will have support in the form of Piyush Chawla and R Ashwin.
The all-rounder`s slot has been filled by Yusuf Pathan.
Talking to reporters after the selection committee meet, chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth said that the team was named keeping the conditions of sub-continent in mind, where the World Cup will take place from February 19 till April 2.
“We thought over…discussed with the captain and the coach and selected the best 15 suitable to the conditions.”
15 member squad for World Cup
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain/WK), Virender Sehwag (Vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Yusuf Pathan, R Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar.