India pick rookie seamer for T20

NEW DELHI: India’s cricket selectors today named promising right-arm seamer Vinay Kumar in a 15-man squad for next month’s World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean.

Kumar, 26, a regular first-class cricketer for Karnataka since 2004, has been impressive with the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the ongoing Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL). The selectors also found a place for 21-year-old leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who has played two Tests and 21 one-dayers, but has yet to appear in a Twenty20 international. Chawla, who last represented India in 2008, will join off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and left-armer Ravindra Jadeja in a three-man spin attack for the April 30-May 16 event.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead the squad and aggressive opener Virender Sehwag will be his deputy, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a statement. Record-breaking batsman Sachin Tendulkar was not picked due to his reluctance to play Twenty20.

The selectors gambled by including opening batsman Gautam Gambhir and left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra even though the Delhi duo has missed recent IPL matches because of injury.

But chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth said he was not worried since both Gambhir and Nehra had submitted fitness certificates.