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01 October 2023

Binny, Patel make India's World Cup squad, Yuvraj overlooked

Indian bowler Stuart Binny (second right) celebrates after winning the second One Day International between India and Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on June 17, 2014. (AFP)

By Reuters

India have included all-rounders Stuart Binny and Akshar Patel in a 15-man squad to defend their World Cup title in Australia and New Zealand starting next month.

Binny, who bowls medium pace, has played six one-day internationals for India while left-arm spinner Patel has represented the country in the 50-over format nine times.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who returned to India midway through the Test series in Australia with a shoulder injury was also included in the squad named on Tuesday.

"Jadeja is at present going under a rehabilitation programme. He is doing wonderfully well," Indian cricket board (BCCI) Secretary Sanjay Patel told reporters.

"We had a detailed discussion today with the BCCI physio and we are quite hopeful he will be match-fit within the next ten days."

The team will be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who recently retired from Tests, while Virat Kohli, who replaced Dhoni in the longer format, was appointed vice-captain.

Fast bowlers Mohit Sharma and Dhawal Kulkarni will be added to the same squad in Australia for the Tri-series, also involving England, as a warm-up for the World Cup.

Paceman Ishant Sharma was rested for the ongoing fourth and final Test against Australia in Sydney with a knee problem but is expected to be fit soon.

"Ishant has a temporary injury with which he is doing well. But he has been advised by our present physio not to play the current Test. He will be fit for the Tri-series," Patel added.

India won the 50-over World Cup for the second time when  they hosted the quadrennial event four years ago with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Speculation was rife in Indian media about the possibility of the inclusion of Yuvraj Singh after the left-hander scored three consecutive hundreds in domestic matches.

The name of Yuvraj, the man of the tournament in the World Cup four years back, came up for discussion in the selection meeting on Tuesday despite him not being part of the 30-man probables.

"Not only Yuvraj Singh, a lot of other players were also discussed apart from the 30, and (we picked the team) after a lot of deliberation in the presence of all five selectors as well as captain MS Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher, who were there on conference call," Patel said.

The World Cup will be staged in Australia and New Zealand from Feb. 14 to March 29.

India squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Rayudu, Akshar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.