Viru, Bhajji out of favour

Calcutta: India have left out three senior players from the list of probables for the Champions Trophy in June this year, opting for several uncapped youngsters in the 30-man squad which will eventually be pruned down to 15.

Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh have been omitted, and the decision is likely to prompt questions over their ODI future.

Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parveez Rasool has been named among the probables, announced by BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale.

Gautam Gambhir, who had been dropped from the Test team, finds himself in the list which has a number of youngsters like Madhya Pradesh all-rounder Jalaj Saxena and medium-pacer Ishwar Pandey, Punjab pacer Sidharth Kaul, Maharashtra middle-order batsman Kedar Jadhav.

Both Sehwag and Harbhajan's axing did not come as a surprise since both have been out of form for quite a long time.

Sehwag, who is currently sitting injured on the Delhi DareDevils bench, was dropped from the squad for the third and fourth Test against Australia because of a prolonged form slump.

Harbhajan hasn't played an ODI since June 2011 and also missed the last two Tests against Australia, though he was part of the squad. Zaheer suffered a calf injury during the Ranji Trophy, but had been dropped during the home Test series against England late last year and the subsequent ODIs against Pakistan.

Shikhar Dhawan's century on his debut Test in Mohali has put him in the reckoning to return to the ODI squad. Apart from Gambhir and Dhawan, Murali Vijay is the other opener in the list.

There are four Bengal players in the list ' Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha, Ashok Dinda and Shami Ahmed.

Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who received the BCCI's best all-rounder award last season, however, doesn't find a place. He was ignored by the national selectors during the ODIs at home against England and Pakistan, too.

Despite having a decent domestic season in 2012-13, he continues to remain out of favour.


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