ICC Champions Trophy July 6, 2009

Dravid among Champions Trophy probables

Cricinfo staff

Rahul Dravid is the surprise inclusion among India's probables for the ICC Champions Trophy in September this year. The selectors picked a longlist of 30 players for the tournament, to be held in South Africa, including Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan.

Dravid played his last ODI in October 2007 against Australia in Nagpur, where he managed seven runs. He averages 39.49 from 333 games with a strike-rate of 71.22 and is the third Indian to accumulate more than 10,000 runs in ODIs.

His inclusion follows the recent struggles of Indian batsmen against short-pitched bowling, brutally shown up in the ICC World Twenty20 where Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan were troubled by bouncers from the West Indian and England fast bowlers. The problem continued in the subsequent ODI series in the West Indies.

Dravid played a key role in the success of Royal Challengers Bangalore during the IPL's second season, scoring 271 runs at a strike-rate of 115.81 as the team finished runners-up in the tournament held in South Africa.

The 16 members of the team touring the West Indies were also included, as are the regulars who missed that due to injury and fatigue concerns - Tendulkar, Sehwag, Zaheer and Suresh Raina.

Among the players who failed to make the cut are medium-pacers Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth. Irfan's last ODI was against Sri Lanka in February, while a back injury has troubled Sreesanth for more than a year since the inaugural IPL.

Probables: MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Abhishek Nayar, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Munaf Patel, R Ashwin, M Vijay, Amit Mishra, Ajinkya Rahane, Dhawal Kulkarni, S Badrinath, Ashish Nehra, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Singh, Wriddhiman Saha, Pankaj Singh.