Axed Dravid’s ODI future in doubt

CHENNAI: Veteran Indian batsman Rahul Dravid’s one-day future looked in doubt on Thursday after he was dropped for the first two matches against world champions Australia starting later this month.

The 36-year-old had returned to the team for a tri-series in Sri Lanka last month after spending two years in the wilderness. He figured in three more matches in the recent Champions Trophy in South Africa before being axed again. Dravid, only the third Indian after Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to have completed 10,000 one-day runs, fared reasonably well on his return scoring 180 in the last five matches.

Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh returned to the squad after recovering from injuries. Sehwag missed the World T20 in England in June and the Champions Trophy due to shoulder injury. Yuvraj was ruled out of the Champions Trophy after suffering a finger injury during a practice session before India’s first match in the competition. India failed to qualify for the semi-finals of both global events.

The hosts made five changes from the Champions Trophy squad, with paceman Munaf Patel and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja making comebacks. Seamer Sudeep Tyagi is the lone new face in the 15-man squad. All-rounders Yusuf Pathan and Abhishek Nayar, left-arm seamer Rudra Pratap Singh and batsman Dinesh Karthik were also dropped. The squad for the remaining five games of the seven-match series will be announced later.

INDIA’S SQUAD FOR FIRST TWO ODIS: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Sudeep Tyagi, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra.

SCHEDULE: Oct 25: First one-dayer at Vadodara; Oct 28: Second one-dayer at Nagpur; Oct 31: Third one-dayer at Delhi; Nov 2: Fourth one-dayer at Mohali; Nov 5: Fifth one-dayer at Hyderabad; Nov 8: Sixth one-dayer at Guwahati; Nov 11: Seventh one-dayer at Mumbai.