India rely on youth for B’desh series, Asia Cup
Mumbai, May 30:
India today named uncapped pair Yusuf Pathan and Pragyan Ojha in a 15-man squad for ODI tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup in Pakistan next month.
Pathan, 25, the elder brother of left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan, is a hard-hitting batsman and off-spinner who was part of India’s World Cup winning Twenty-20 squad in South Africa in September. Ojha, a 21-year-old from Hyderabad, is widely regarded as the country’s best young left-arm spinner and forced his way into the national squad after a successful domestic season.
Pathan replaces star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who opted out of both tournaments to recover from a groin injury in time for the Test and one-day tour of Sri Lanka from mid-July. Ojha comes in for Harbhajan Singh, the off-spinner who was banned for five one-dayers after being found guilty of slapping national team-mate Shanthakumaran Sreesanth during a domestic match last month.
The selectors once again ignored veterans Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid as they continued to look ahead to the next World Cup in 2011.
Left-hand batsman Suresh Raina, 21, who last played a one-dayer in January 2007, pipped reserve wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthick for the last batting slot. Seamer Rudra Pratap Singh returns to the squad after missing India’s one-dayers in Australia in March when Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men defeated the hosts 2-0 in the tri-series finals.