January 17th, 2011 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on INDIAN SQUAD WC-2011
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The exclusion of middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma was the major surprise in India’s 15-man World Cup squad announced in Chennai by the Selection Committee that met on Monday for the ICC World Cup 2011, which begins from February 19.



The other bone of contention had been the second specialist spinner’s slot, and the selectors have picked both offspinner R Ashwin and leg spinner Piyush Chawla, ahead of left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha.

Another surprise omission was  Sreesanth who has been bowling well and has been amongst the wickets in the cricket matches being played in South Africa.

The announcement also allayed fears about the injury-scare that hit the Indian camp on the South African tour, with all the four injured players – Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Praveen Kumar – being named.

The nominated squad also does not include a second wicket keeper in case the situation so demands.

The list of players was more or less as expected, with most of them picking themselves. The only three spots up for grabs were bagged by Yusuf, Chawla and Ashwin. They were fighting against the likes of S Sreesanth, Murali Vijay, Pragyan Ojha and Rohit Sharma. Rest of the players had selected themselves on the basis of their  performances.

But Yusuf’s all-round abilities tilted the scales in his favour. Ashwin’s proven record in the IPL and Champions League got him the elite berth, while Chawla edged out Rohit Sharma to give the team variety with his leg-spin.

Selection Committee chariman K Srikkanth, Surendra Bhave and Narendra Hirwani were present at the meeting, while rest of the selectors and skipper MS Dhoni joined them on video conferencing from South Africa.

Ishant Sharma  who was drafted into the ODI team for South Africa after Praveen’s injury also did not fit in with their scheme of selection.

The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup will be the tenth Cricket World Cup and will be hosted by  India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It will be Bangladesh’s first time co-hosting a Cricket World Cup. The World Cup will use cricket’s One Day ODI format, in which fourteen teams will compete. 

 Indian captain MS Dhoni said in Cape Town that the selectors had chosen a strong 15 member squad for the World Cup and they were ready for the mega event. Talking to reporters in Cape Town, he said that the inclusion of three spinners in the team was crucial due to team strategy.

The World Cup will take place between February and early April 2011, with the first match to be played on 19 February 2011 with co-hosts India and Bangladesh facing off at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka. The opening ceremony will be held on 17 February 2011, two days before the start of the tournament.

Indian Squad: MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Piyush Chawla, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yusuf Pathan.

Ravi Matah

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