Champions Trophy 2013 May 4, 2013

No Gambhir, Yuvraj for Champions Trophy

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh have been dropped from the India one-day squad for the Champions Trophy. Dinesh Karthik earns a recall after a gap of almost three years, and Umesh Yadav returns from injury.

Shikhar Dhawan, who grabbed the headlines during the home Tests against Australia and has done well in the IPL since recovering from a hand injury, has made the 15. Allrounder Irfan Pathan, seamer Vinay Kumar and batsman M Vijay also make a comeback.

Apart from Gambhir and Yuvraj, four other players who were part of the squad for India's previous one-day assignment, the home ODIs against England in January, miss out: batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara - who is injured - and Ajinkya Rahane, and fast bowlers Ashok Dinda and Shami Ahmed.

That leaves the squad with Dhawan, Vijay, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma as specialist batsmen. Karthik will be the back-up keeper behind MS Dhoni - though he is capable of fitting into the XI as just a batsman as well - while the spin department has a mix in offspinner R Ashwin, left-armer Ravindra Jadeja and legspinner Amit Mishra. Given the conditions in England, India were expected to go in with a five-man pace attack, and that is what they have done: Irfan, Umesh, Vinay, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma complete the 15.

Gambhir managed 127 runs in five ODIs against England, and 34 runs in three against Pakistan before that. Yuvraj has one half-century in eight one-dayers since returning to the side following the completion of his cancer treatment.

There is, however, hope for Gambhir to be recalled for the tri-series in the West Indies, also featuring Sri Lanka, following the Champions Trophy. Gambhir has been included in the probables for the tour, along with Manoj Tiwary, Praveen Kumar, Shami Ahmed, Ambati Rayudu and Rahul Sharma. The selectors will pick from the 21 probables, which includes the 15 picked for the Champions Trophy.

Seniors Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh have not been able to force their way back in. They, along with the injured and out of favour Zaheer Khan, were not even in the 30 probables announced for the Champions Trophy.

Karthik has been the mainstay of the Mumbai Indians batting so far in the IPL, with 331 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 140. He had a solid first-class season before that, scoring 577 runs at 64.11 for Tamil Nadu.

Dhawan has previously played five ODIs for India, the last of which was two years ago, but only generated widespread interest on hitting the fastest century by Test debutant in Mohali in March. Following that he missed the final Test of the Australia series, in Delhi, and the first couple of weeks of the IPL due to injury, but has scored two unbeaten half-centuries in three games on return.

Umesh was ruled out with a stress reaction in his back during the home Tests against England last year, his last game for India being the Ahmedabad Test in November. Yadav resumed bowling in the first week of March, and then played the domestic T20 tournament, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He has been Delhi Daredevils' leading wicket-taker in the IPL so far, with 13 scalps at 20.92, and has particularly impressed with his tidy bowling at the death.

Irfan last played for India at the World T20 in Sri Lanka last September-October, and then picked up a knee injury in the Ranji Trophy ahead of India's home season. Vinay had not made the Indian team since a hamstring injury ruled him out of India's limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in July 2012.

There had been speculation as to whether Mishra would miss out to a pace bowler for the tournament in England, but he has retained his place in the squad following a solid showing for Sunrisers Hyderabad - apart from being their leading wicket-taker so far with 16 in 10 games, he has produced handy cameos with the bat for the side.

Dinda, on the other hand, has had a woeful IPL till date for Pune Warriors, being the tournament's most expensive bowler at the death. So far, a fifth of IPL 2013's sixes have been hit off Dinda.

Rahane could not take advantage of the opportunities given to him in the one-day series' against Pakistan and England, totalling 55 runs in four matches - of which 47 came in one innings against England in Rajkot.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • suresh.chary on May 10, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    My team....

    Shikhar Dhawan Rohit Sharma Virat Kohli Suresh Raina Dinesh Karthik MS Dhoni (capt & wk) Ravindra Jadeja R Ashwin Bhuvneshwar Kumar Umesh Yadav Ishant Sharma

  • dummy4fb on May 10, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Can we swap Viajy with Rahane!! Rahane was warming bench when he was in great form. He got very few chances when comapred to likes of Rohit Sharma. He looks like back in touch with back to back fifties for RR. Murali Vijay has not impressed so far in IPL. we can keep him as opener for tests.

  • Kris7 on May 9, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    My Dream Team:

    Dhawan, Sachin, Kohli, Rohit, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Irfan Pathan, Aswin, Vinaykumar, U Yadav.

  • dummy4fb on May 8, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    Pujara and Rahane out but Rohit Sharma in??? Seriously? Rohit Sharma is most overrated player of all times I have seen in my life!! He is no better than a pinch hitter!! Useless selection! Also I dont understand why Dhoni is stubborn with M.Vijay ? CSK hangover? He is unfit for short versions of the game!!! Pujara and Rahane havent been used well!! I am happy with the selection except Rohit Sharma and Murali Vijay!!

  • dummy4fb on May 8, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    Droping Yuvraj is worst decision by selector bcz Indian Team dont have all-rounder player who can take place of yuvi.... so bad decision

  • dummy4fb on May 8, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    pujara should be picked instead of irfan

  • Naresh28 on May 7, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    @crictical thinkiing good points raised by you. The best way of getting youngstersready is by sending out A-teams and U19 teams to play all over. BCCI HAS SADLY LACKED IN THIS ASPECT. India knows they have an abundance of talent in cricket. The best way to tap this talent and find the best players is to send them on tours like this. People like Chand, Aparajith, Samson need to be exposed in these sort of teams. Send them to Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, NZ ,Oz, SA wherever. BCCI makes so much money but cannot organise these youngsters - WHY? The ladies team is virtually non-existent. The only lifeline these players have is theIPL. But dont let the IPL spoil forward planning. BCCI should not be run by businessmen and politicians

  • dummy4fb on May 7, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    Excellent selection by the selectors...dropping yuvraj singh, virender sehwag and gautam gambhir was always a bold decion... Bt they have made a correct decision...it is well established fact that whosoever player performs shall be selected in the team...this time selector laid emphasis on the performance of the players... They really made execellent choice..Bt one thing shocked me the most... Why they havent selected parveen kumAr.. In english conditions he is an excellent bowler... He is a master of swing bowling..in indian team no one swings the bowl more than of parveen kumar..

  • Meety on May 7, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    So following on from my previous post, this is one of the "oddest" Indian teams ever. Apart from any Indian side lobbing up to a World Event without Tendulkar must look a bit threadbare, the strengths & weaknesses of this squad is out of kilter with Indian tradition. This side will boast a 3-prong seam attack that SHOULD do well in English conditions, the squad (except for Ashwin) look like the most athletic India have ever assembled, yet they will probably have the most inexperienced & raw batting line up in a long long time. A lot will depend on Kholi & Dhoni with the batting. If India can be well placed at the 30 to 35th over stage, I think Jadeja could produce some momentum. I don't expect India to do too well, but the investment in youth in this squad will pay dividends down the track! ps: I actually thought that Yuvraj spin-bowling could of been very handy if selected.

  • Meety on May 7, 2013, 2:59 GMT

    Pretty good squad. Bhuvi COULD do very well in England. Hopefully Yadav will be 100% fit, if so, he gives India a bit of mongrel with the ball, (sort of like Brett Lee for Oz). Ishant has to tour, at his best he could be very good in England. India will have to play a 3-seam attack. I am not convinced that Ashwin is anything but a home-bully boy, so this could be a step in proving or disproving that notion, he'd have to play as the specialist spinner, although his fielding would be a big cross. On the topic of fielding, this looks like the best fielding squad India have put forward in a long time (maybe ever?). Jadeja apart from playing the role of allrounder, will combine well with Kholi in the circle. I can see the POTENTIAL of India actually applying pressure in the field for once. Batting is a big ?-mark. No Sachin, (leaves a hole) no Sehwag, no Ghambir, no Yuvraj - AND CRUCIALLY no Pujarra means that Dhoni must be getting that Clarke feeling soon!