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July 18, 2012
Yuvraj Singh has been included in India's preliminary squad of 30 players for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka this September. Mandeep Singh, the Punjab batsman who plays for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, and Ambati Rayudu, the Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians batsman, are the only uncapped players in the list.
Mandeep has played 13 first-class matches for Punjab and North Zone, scoring 1074 runs at an average of 63. He had a successful IPL 2012 for Kings XI Punjab, finishing the season as the tenth-highest run-scorer, with 432 runs at a strike rate of 126.
This selection is also Rayudu's first call-up to an India shortlist since he returned to the BCCI's fold after playing the Indian Cricket League (ICL). He's played 47 matches for Mumbai Indians, making 1084 runs at a strike rate of 128. Rayudu was Mumbai Indians' second-highest run-scorer in 2012, scoring 333 in 15 innings.
This is Yuvraj's first official inclusion in an India squad following his treatment for a mediastinal seminoma, a rare germ cell cancer, in the United States. His last appearance for India was in a Test match against West Indies in Kolkata in November 2011, and his last one-day match was the World Cup final against Sri Lanka in April that year. Yuvraj had respiratory difficulties through 2011 and in May he withdrew from the ODI series in the West Indies due to an "illness". He toured England but had to return home after breaking his finger in the Nottingham Test and later played two home Tests against West Indies. However, he then pulled out of the ODI series against West Indies in November citing an "abnormal tumour in his lung".
Yuvraj had originally targeted the CB series in Australia for his return to international cricket. However, he was ruled out of that tournament and travelled to the US in late January for what was later revealed to be cancer treatment. Yuvraj spent three months in Indianapolis' IU Simon Cancer Centre and returned to India in early April 2012. He is currently training in Bangalore and said he believed Twenty20 was the best format for him to begin his return to competitive cricket.
It is understood Yuvraj aims to play at least two matches in the three-day Buchi Babu tournament in Chennai or the four-day KSCA League in Bangalore or the inter-district Katoch Shield tournament in Punjab.
Probables: MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Mandeep Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Naman Ojha, Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, L Balaji.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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