World Cup T20 India squad announced
Young all-rounder Pawan Negi was the surprise pick for the World Twenty20 and Asia Cup, while the selectors also reposed faith in veterans such as Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh in the 15-member Indian squad for the two events.
Other young players such as Jasprit Bhumrah and Hardik Pandya, who impressed in the recent series against Australia, also found a place in the squad announced by BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur after a meeting of the selection committee here today.
"This is the best combination of 15 we can think of," Chairman of the committee, Sandeep Patil, said in a press conference after the meeting. The full squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c) , Rohit Sharma, Shikar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja , Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bhumrah, Ashish Nehra, Pawan Negi, Mohd Shami
Interestingly, the pace duo of Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were ignored. Also, Manish Pandey, who featured in the T20 series against Australia, was left out of the team to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The Asia Cup is scheduled to be held in Bangladesh from February 24 to March 6, followed by the World T20 from March 8 to April 3 in India.
The 23-year-old Negi, who bowls left-arm spin and is a decent batsman, was rewarded for his consistent performance in the domestic circuit. Negi's inclusion in the World Cup team had become obvious when he was selected for the three-match series against Sri Lanka this month.
Ajinkya Rahane also found a place in the squad ahead of Pandey, who hit a match-winning century in the last ODI against Australia. Pandey got his break owing to an injury to Rahane and even though he made it count, the selectors opted to go with the more experienced player. "Manish Pandey performed exceptionally well in Australia, his name was also discussed," Mr. Patil said.