Ganguly included in probables list
Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian captain, has been named among the 30 probables for the Champions Trophy to be held in India in October. Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman have also been included.
"Every year we discuss various issues before picking a team. Here we just picked the best 30 that we have," said Kiran More, the chairman of selectors. "He [Ganguly] is in the list of Grade A players. So when we select 30 probables, he definitely walks in."
Ganguly had a poor stint with Northamptonshire where he had a first-class average of 4.80 in six innings. However, More said that his selection was not just based on his county season but was a combination of the previous domestic season and past performances. Zaheer's selection was based on a phenomenal performance for Worcestershire where he took 63 wickets in 11 first-class matches at 25.74 apiece.
The list includes all 15 players who have been chosen for the tri-series in Sri Lanka later this month, and also has players who performed well in the Top End Series in Australia in July, which featured A teams from Australia, New Zealand and India. S Badrinath, the Tamil Nadu batsman, Tejinder Pal Singh, an allrounder from Railways, and Piyush Chawla, the young legspinner, have all been rewarded for their strong performances in Australia. Parthiv Patel, who kept wicket on that tour, is one of three wicketkeepers in the list - apart from Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik. The final 15-member squad will be announced on September 7.
More said that Murali Kartik, the left-arm spinner, and Lakshmipathy Balaji, the fast bowler, were not selected because they needed more time to recover from their respective shoulder and back injuries.
"Murali will be fine before the Champions Trophy but the problem is the September 7 deadline. It is not a small injury, we don't want to rush him back," said More. "Balaji would be fit by October. It will take time for him. He has to play seven to eight matches."
Meanwhile Niranjan Shah, the BCCI secretary, also said that the details for the tri-series in Singapore and Malaysia in September - also featuring Australia and West Indies - would be revealed soon. "The tri-series in Singapore and Malaysia has been confirmed. In one or two days we will give the full schedule of the tour," he said. "The first three games will be in Singapore and the next four in Malaysia."
Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Harbhajan Singh, Ramesh Powar, Dinesh Mongia, Ajit Agarkar, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Rudra Pratap Singh, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, VVS Laxman, Venugopal Rao, Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Piyush Chawla, S Badrinath, Rohit Sharma, TP Singh, Shib Paul, VRV Singh, Parthiv Patel (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk).