Friday, May 30, 2008

Selectors induct Yusuf and Ojha in ODI squad

Baroda all rounder Yusuf Pathan and young Hyderabad left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha were on Friday rewarded for their impressive showing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by being named in India's 15-member cricket squad for next month's tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup in Pakistan.

The national selectors, who met in Mumbai on Friday, decided to emphasise on a young squad for both the tournaments and ignored former captains Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, who were dropped from the one-day team during the triangular series in Australia.

The selectors also recalled talented Uttar Pradesh batsman Suresh Raina in the squad for both the tournaments for the second tri-series in succession. Sachin Tendulkar had already been ruled out of both the tournaments because of a groin injury.

The 21-year-old Raina, who last played a ODI in January, 2007, edged out other contenders like his Chennai Super Kings teammate Subramaniam Badrinath, Delhi's Shikhar Dhawan and Hyderabad's Venugopal Rao who have done well in the IPL.

The teams for the June 8-14 triangular ODI event in Bangladesh, also featuring the hosts and Pakistan, and the June 24-July 6 Asia Cup in Pakistan were announced by Cricket Board's secretary Niranjan Shah after a selection committee meeting which lasted about one hour.

The selectors made five changes in the team that created history under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership by winning the tri-series in Australia for the first time ever in March.

Tendulkar, who has not yet recovered fully from his groin injury that forced him to miss two home Tests against South Africa and the first seven IPL games for Mumbai Indians, the banned Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Dinesh Kaarthick and Manoj Tiwary were those left out of that squad.

Sending out a strong message, Harbhajan, banned by BCCI for five ODIs for slapping Sreesanth after the IPL game between his team (Mumbai Indians) and Punjab King's Eleven at Mohali on April 25, was left out of the Asia Cup squad though he would have served out his ban after India's first two ties in Pakistan.

Nitin Patel will be the physio for the Bangladesh tri-series and Asia Cup this is a short-term arrangement till a full time physio is appointed.