India exclude Singh and Gambhir in squad

Following weak ODI form, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir fail to make India's 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy.

    India exclude Singh and Gambhir in squad
    There is no place for Yuvraj Singh (R) or Gautam Gambhir (C) - who is replaced by Shikhar Dhawan [AP]

    Allrounder Yuvraj Singh and opener Gautam Gambhir were excluded on Saturday from India's 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy in England next month.

    Yuvraj, who had made a dramatic return to international cricket last year after his cancer went into remission, totalled only 34 runs in three one-day games against Pakistan and 126 in five against England earlier this season.

    Gambhir also had an unimpressive run in the ODIs, scoring a total of 34 against Pakistan and 127 against England. He has been replaced by fellow Delhi batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

    The 27-year-old Dhawan, who played the last of his five ODIs in West Indies two years ago, scored the fastest century on Test debut in hitting 187 against Australia in Mohali earlier this year to stake his claim for the second most prestigious one-day tournament.

    Murali Vijay is the only other specialist opener in the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led squad, although while wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik is also capable of batting at the top of the order. Karthik returns to the squad after three years out.

    Ishant Sharma leads a five-man pace attack in the absence of experienced fast bowler Zaheer Khan, who has been out of action with a side strain since the home Test series against England in December.

    Zaheer was among the prominent names missing from the preliminary squad announced last month, the others being opener Virender Sehwag and offspinner Harbhajan Singh.

    India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar.

    SOURCE: AP


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