India in West Indies, 2011 May 13, 2011

Gambhir to lead, Badrinath in for WI limited-overs leg

ESPNcricinfo staff

Gautam Gambhir will lead a depleted Indian side to the limited-overs leg of the West Indies tour, with five first-choice players including Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni either rested or injured. As expected, the national selectors haven't given much weightage to performances in the IPL, instead rewarding results in the more traditional domestic competitions. S Badrinath, Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel muscled their way in helped by the weight of runs in both formats of the Ranji Trophy.

R Vinay Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra made their way back, replacing Ashish Nehra (injured), Sreesanth and Piyush Chawla (both dropped). Praveen Kumar duly took his place back, having recovered from the elbow injury that had kept him out of the World Cup. He replaces Zaheer Khan, who has been rested.

With five vacancies created - Virender Sehwag being the other - there had been some hype created around the IPL performers in the week leading to the selection meeting. The selectors seem to have learned from the debuts handed to Manpreet Gony and Ashok Dinda based on the first IPL, and also from RP Singh's comeback based on the second IPL. As it turned out, the likes of Ambati Rayudu and Rahul Sharma missed out this time. Badrinath and Rohit were the two top run-getters in the Ranji Trophy first-class competition while Parthiv was the second-highest in the Ranji one-dayers. The exclusion of M Vijay - who has a highest of 33 in 11 ODI innings - makes Parthiv the likeliest candidate to open the innings with the captain, Gambhir.

"I am confident that we will do well and win the series in the West Indies. The team is well balanced," said Kris Srikkanth, India's chairman of selectors. "Everything is on merit. It's a great opportunity for a lot of players.

"On tours, we always take two wicketkeepers. It's a 16-member team and in case of a wicketkeeper getting injured, you have to understand the logistics [of getting a replacement to] in the West Indies [are complicated]."

This is not Gambhir's first shot at leading India - he was the captain when India beat New Zealand 5-0 in ODIs last year. The selectors are believed to be impressed with his leadership skills, and are likely to make him full-time vice-captain ahead of the slightly reluctant Sehwag, although they haven't yet made any formal announcement to that effect.

There was a minor surprise thrown up in the bowling department with Mishra getting in ahead of Pragyan Ojha as the third spinner. In his 16 ODIs - all but three of them against Sri Lanka, who are good players of spin - Ojha has given away runs at only 4.31 an over. However, he was injured before the World Cup and missed the first-class season as well. In the domestic one-dayers, Mishra, with 18 wickets from six games, outperformed Ojha, who managed five in five.

Vinay and Ishant, who have been there or thereabouts, are the only ones to have benefited from good showings in the IPL. It can be argued, though, that they are not unknown commodities and their performances in the IPL have been more of reassurance than first notice. India also picked wicketkeeping cover for Parthiv, making Wriddhiman Saha the 16th member of the squad.

India play one Twenty20 and five ODIs against the hosts beginning with the Twenty20 game on June 4.

Squad: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, S Badrinath, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Vinay Kumar, Yusuf Pathan, Amit Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha (wk).

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • al on May 16, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    There is a little bit of regional quotas in the play, if you look at who went out and who came in their place. As long as final 11 are left to the captain, I guess having a pseudo regional quota helps in negating the selector's biases. Irfan will get his chance after he is back in shape and bowling at original speed/swing.

  • Amardeep on May 16, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    To those saying Saha has had a chance are far too harsh. He has had 1 ODI inning and 2 Test innings. If everyone who didn't perform in the who had similiar figures to him at this stage then India would have thousands upon thousands of capped players. Contrast to Irfan Pathan and Rohit Sharma would had many more chances whilst failing. Sharma is a batsman of class so deserves another chance but Irfan rightly no longer on the selector's radar. Look here to see why:;template=results;type=bowling

  • Dummy4 on May 16, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    India have miss irfan pathan, dinesh kartick.........dinesh kartik is far better then partiv patel in any class... india will pay of and absent of irfan pathan and dinesh kartick .

  • Dummy4 on May 16, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    Wat about jedaja and Rayudhu ? wiruthiman saha already miss his chance... Then why selectors again call him back? lot of politics....!!!

  • kumar on May 16, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    Guys, please stop crying for Rayudu, Rahul Sharma and Aaron. Especially Rayudu's exclusion is perfectly justified given the fact that the selectors are giving importance to Ranji performances. Rahul Sharma and Aaron shouldnt even be talked about. Its just IPL people!!!! Need good solid domestic performances.

  • Dummy4 on May 16, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    As someone put it rightly, why have paid selectors when there are millions of voluntary ones, who offer such wonderful selection advice? Seriously speaking though, given the circumstances of players being rested and injured, the team selected is the best out there. It'll be interesting to see how the team fares; I can't wait to see Team India back on the road after an IPL that lacked in quality that previous seasons might have had.

  • Dummy4 on May 15, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    The best team would have been Batsmen: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Raina, Rayudu, Rohit, Virat, Badrinath Bowlers : Munaf , Praveen , Ishant, Bhajji, Abdulla , Rahul Sharma All Rounders: Yusuf Pathan, Yuvraj Singh (vc), Irfan Pathan Wicket Keeper: Robin Uthappa Starting XI:1.Gambhir 2.Uthappa 3.Kohli 4.Badrinath/Rayudu 5.Yusuf 6.Yuvraj 7.Raina 8.Irfan 9.Bhajji 10.Praveen 11.Munaf The core of the team ie players playing all 5 matches: Gambhir , Kohli , Yuvraj , Yusuf , Munaf Rest of the players can be rotated It would have been the best team possible the only team better than it would have been a full strength team India

  • Rajesh on May 15, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    1) Gambhir 2) Parthiv Patel 3) Kohli 4) Raina 5) Yuvraj Singh 6) Badrinath 7) Y Pathan/Rohit Shama 8) Harbhajan 9) Ashwin/Mishra/Ishant (depending on track) 10) Praveen Kumar 11) Munaf Patel

  • Vikas on May 15, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    So vinay kumar isn't even selected by his own team kochi tuskers ,he has an economy rtae of over nine.meanwhile R.P.Singh is the main strike bowler has an economy rate of below six and three times as many wickets. We dont even take one left arm seamer like Singh or Pathan .why vinay was taken is beyond me. UthAppa or rayadu instead of Saha would have been ideal too.

  • Dummy4 on May 15, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    Well its good team selection... only one mistake by the selection committee . why they are so Clement for Wriddhiman Saha. He is good for nothing.

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