Kaif retained for West Indies tour

Mohammad Kaif has retained his place in the Indian one-day squad for the tour of the West Indies, starting in the second week of May. The selectors announced an unchanged squad for the Caribbean tour, where India are scheduled to play five ODIs.

Kaif, plagued by a prolonged form slump, found a berth in the 15-member line-up as the selectors felt that it was not necessary to change the winning combination. Virender Sehwag, another player whose form has been questionable, has been retained after his breezy knock of 73 in the second one-dayer against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi.

"We all decided that we should back Kaif," Kiran More, the chairman of selectors, said. "His past record is good and he's an outstanding fielder too. Yes, his form is worrying. Even Virender Sehwag had a form slump but played a brilliant innings of 73 yesterday [against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi]."

Robin Uthappa, the young opener, and Ramesh Powar, the offspinner, clinched their berths owing to performances against England and Pakistan. Sachin Tendulkar, currently undergoing a rehabilitation programme following a shoulder surgery last month, had opted out of the limited-overs segment of the tour. His availability for the four Tests that follow the one-dayers will be known on May 10 when he undergoes a fitness test.

The team for the Tests will be announced after the third one-dayer at St. Kitt's on May 23. The decision to retain the same squad means that Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman continue to remain out of India's one-day scheme while Sourav Ganguly, the former captain, was ignored again.

Indian squad
Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, Rahul Dravid (capt), Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Venugopal Rao, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Irfan Pathan, Ramesh Powar, Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar, Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh, Munaf Patel.