Vinay Kumar lone new face in T20 World Cup squad


Mumbai : Bangalore pacer Ranganath Vinay Kumar was the only new face in the 15-member Indian squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean in April-May, but there is no place for Delhi’s fast bowler Ishant Sharma and batsman Virat Kohli.

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Chief selector K. Srikkanth and his colleagues decided to include injured Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra. Gambhir strained his hamstring, playing for Delhi Daredevils against Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, while his teammate Nehra could not play a single IPL match due to a rib cage injury. Both Nehra and Gambhir went to Sri Lanka for an ayurvedic treatment.

“We have selected the best team. We are also happy that everybody is in fine form. I am confident about the team that we have selected. We can do well and we do have a powerful batting line-up,” said Srikkanth.

Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who last played for India during the 2008 Asia Cup in Pakistan, also found a place in the side ahead of left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who played in the second edition of the Twenty20 World Cup in England last year.

Young Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey, who has been in a great form, failed to impress the selectors, who preferred the experience of middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma who can also his turn his arm over to bowl off-spin.

The selectors also could not fit in the in-form Karnataka batsman Robin Uthappa as they preferred to stick with wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik in view of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s record of injuries on recent tours.

Dhoni attended the selection committee meeting.

Vinay Kumar was finally rewarded for his consistent performance in domestic cricket, especially with Bangalore Royal Challengers. Vinay Kumar picked up 46 wickets in the Ranji trophy and is the joint second highest wicket-taker in the IPL with eight scalps.

India are in Group C with Afghanistan and South Africa. India open their campaign against Afghanistan, May 1, at St. Lucia. India, 2007 champions, made an early exit from the last year’s Twenty20 World cup in England.

The women’s selection committee also announced a 15-member squad for the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup that would also be held in the West Indies from April 30 to May 16.

Men’s Team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, R. Vinay Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma and Piyush Chawla

Women’s team: Jhulan Goswami (captain), Mithali Raj, Poonam Raut, Sulakshana Naik, Anagha Deshpande, Rumeli Dhar, Amita Sharma, Harmanpreet Kaur, Reema Malhotra, Diana David, Gouhar Sultana, Sonia Dabir, Priyanka Roy and Anjum Chopra