India’s selectors dropped opener Gautam Gambhir and all-rounder Yuvraj Singh for next month’s ICC Champions Trophy one-day tournament in England.
The duo were part of the side that beat England 3-2 in a home One-Day International (ODI) series in January, with Gambhir scoring just 127 runs and Yuvraj 126 in five matches.
Gambhir has scored 5,238 runs in 147 ODIs with 11 centuries, while Yuvraj has made 8,211 runs in 282 matches with 13 hundreds.
India are drawn with South Africa, Pakistan and the West Indies in Group B of the Champions Trophy, from which the top two will qualify for the semi-finals.
India, who shared the 2002 Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka following a rain-hit final in Colombo, will clash with South Africa in their first match at Cardiff on June 6.
Shikhar Dhawan, who played his last ODI against the West Indies in 2011, returned to bolster the batting lineup and is likely to open the innings with Murali Vijay, who also made a comeback.
Dhawan, who has so far scored 69 runs in five matches, rose to fame after hammering a 174-ball 187 on his Test debut against Australia in Mohali in March.
With the conditions in England expected to favour seam bowling, India named five fast-bowlers — Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, and Vinay Kumar.
The selectors also picked three spinners – Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja – in the 15-man squad to be led by MS Dhoni.
Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma are the other specialist batsmen.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2013.
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