World Cup-winning quintet dropped from probables squad

New Delhi


Five members of India's 2011 World Cup-winning team - Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir - have been left out of the 30-member preliminary squad for the 2015 One-Day International (ODI) World Cup, announced Thursday, drawing sharp reactions from the cricket community.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) All-India Senior Selection Committee met here and preferred current form over past performance, which worked against all the five players omitted. The World Cup is to be held from Feb 14 to March 29 in Australia and New Zealand.

The famous quintet, backbone of the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian team in 2011, haven't played international cricket for more than a year now and it was expected that they won't find a place in the list, with the selectors sticking to the present bunch of players.

But not all were convinced that it was the correct decision. Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris was among the first to express dismay at the decision.

"Interesting decision to leave Yuvraj out of the 30 man squad. All the others I get but Yuvi can't make the 30," Styris, who played 160 ODI matches, tweeted.

Leading commentator Harsha Bhogle and cricket fans also took to twitter to express their disappointment.

“If Sehwag, Yuvi, Gambhir, Zaheer & Harbhajan don't play for India again, we must stand up & applaud their contribution to Indian cricket,” Bhogle posted.

But the BCCI selectors, with an eye to the future, were in no mood to let nostalgia overshadow their pragmatic judgement-making skills, naming younger players like Kerala wicketkeeper Sanju Samson and Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey and Uttar Pradesh spinner Kuleep Yadav in the list.

There were also other notable omissions, including Test No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara, pace-bowling veteran Ashish Nehra, leggie Piyush Chawla, and all-rounders Irfan and Yusuf Pathan.

The deadline for submitting the condensed squad to the International Cricket Council (ICC) is Jan 7 and it is expected that the veterans won't make the cut considering their poor performances in the ongoing domestic season.

Regular skipper Dhoni and established stars Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were expectedly named in the squad.

Apart from this, batsmen Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav were also selected.

The 30 probables list: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Manoj Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Sanju Samson, Ravichandran Ashwin, Parvez Rasool, Karn Sharma, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma, Ashoke Dinda, Kuldeep Yadav, Murali Vijay. - IANS