The BCCI selection committee on Saturday dropped Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh for the upcoming Twenty20 and one-day international series against England, while recalling RahulDravid to the shorter format of the game after a gap of two years.
The five-member committe that met her this morning, picked another off-spinner RavichandranAshwin to lead India's spin charge in England. The 24-year-old Tamil Nadu bowler was also the part of the team's World Cup winning campaign, even though he was not picked for as many matches as he would have liked.
Rohit Sharma, who had a good run in the West Indies, medium pacer R Vinay Kumar and Parthiv Patel were also included in the squad.
Chief Selector KrishnamachariSrikkanth seemed confident after the meeting and said that they have selected a merit-based team.
"The one-day team has been selected based on performance. I am fully confident we will win the series and will play great in the coming matches."
Yuvraj, who was ruled out of the remaining Test series with a finger injury, was also not considered for the one off T20 and five-match ODI series starting on August 31. Yuvraj, who was the player of the World Cup, could be a big loss for the visitors who are trying to claw their way into the tour after being defeated convincingly in the first two Tests of the four-match series.
When asked about the axing of Harbhajan and Yuvraj, Srikkanth said, "Yuvraj is injured and has been dropped as the doctors say he will take four weeks to recover. Same goes for Harbhajan as well. Yuvraj has a fracture in the finger and will take time to recover. Harbhajan also had an abdominal strain, due to which he could not be included in the squad."
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was given the reins of the side once again, while VirenderSehwag will continue to be his deputy.
Rohit Sharma was also rewarded for his effort on the West Indies tour. He will be a part of the Indian batting line-up, which looks formidable as ever on paper.
With Sehwag and GautamGambhir having recovered from injuries, the duo look all set to bring back th solidity to the team's batting at the top of the order, while SachinTendulkar, who missed the Caribbean tour, was also picked after the master batsman informed the selectors about his availability for the entire England tour. Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and ViratKohli and Rohit Sharma will be a part of the middle order, while Parthiv Patel was also selected as a backup for Dhoni.
Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel were among five pacers, along with Ishant Sharma and R Vinay Kumar.
Praveen Kumar, who missed the World Cup with an elbow injury, was also picked. But Sreesanth could not make the cut this time.
AmitMishra, who performed excellently in the ODI series against the West Indies, was also selected as a second spinner.
Harbhajan's exclusion didn't come as a surprise to many as the team's premier spinner was off-colour for quite some time now. The abdominal injury that he suffered during India's the second Test at Nottingham could have also played a part while not selecting him.
Srikkanth also showed faith on the current side to come back into the ongoing Test series.
"I am sure the team is going to come back strongly. A lot of times in the past, the team had gone down and then came back strongly. I am sure Sehwag, Gambhir and Zaheer will fight back in the coming matches. Players know how to come back."
In addition to the only T20 (Aug 31) at the Old Trafford, India will play five ODIs at Chester-le-Street (Sep 3), The Rose Bowl (Sep 6), The Oval (Sep 9), The Lord's (Sep 11), Cardiff (Sep 16).
India Team ODI Squad: MS Dhoni (Capt), GautamGambhir, VirenderSehwag, RahulDravid, ViratKohli, SachinTendulkar, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Zaheer Khan, RavichandranAshwin, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, AmitMishra, Parthiv Patel.