Yuvraj, Kumble back in one-day squad

Cuttack, January 25:

Flamboyant batsman Yuvraj Singh and veteran spinner Anil Kumble were recalled to India’s one-day squad as selectors search for their best World Cup combination.

Yuvraj and Kumble were named in the 15-man squad for the last two one-dayers against the West Indies to be played in Chennai on Saturday and Vadodara next Wednesday.

Yuvraj is back after tearing a ligament in the left knee at a practice session during the Champions Trophy in November.

Yuvraj, who has 4,286 runs from 159 ODIs with seven centuries, is regarded as vital to India’s World Cup campaign due to his aggressive batting and brilliant fielding. Leg-spinner Kumble is also a strong contender as India’s leading wicket-taker in both Test (547) and ODI (331).

Yuvraj and Kumble replace Joginder Sharma and Rudra Pratap Singh from the squad that won the first two games. All-rounder Irfan Pathan will be added to the squad for the last match in Vadodara, chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar said.

India must name their World Cup 15 by February 13, a month before the tournament starts in the Caribbean on March 13. India is also due to play four one-dayers against Sri Lanka in February, but will have only the first two games on Feb 8 and 11 to gauge the most suitable World Cup combination.

SQUAD: Rahul Dravid (captain), Sachin Tendulkar (vice-captain), Robin Uthappa, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Dhoni, Dinesh Karthick, Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir,

Zaheer Khan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Ramesh Powar, Harbhajan Singh, and Irfan Pathan (for Vadodara match only).