Gambhir to lead in T20, ODIs in absence of Dhoni (Lead)

May 13th, 2011 - 7:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Gautam Gambhir Chennai, May 13 (IANS) Gautam Gambhir has been named captain of India’s Twenty20 and ODI team for the tour to West Indies next month while Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan have been rested.

The trio will, however, be available for the three-match Test series beginning June 20.

Suresh Raina has been named the vice captain.

The selection committee that met here Friday picked the 16-member squad and expectedly rewarded consistent performers of the domestic competitions with Subramaniam Badrinath, Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel getting the nod.

Badrinath, who scored a staggering 1,226 runs in 12 matches this season at an average of 111.45 with five centuries, deservedly got a berth. The 30-year-old Tamil Nadu batsman is a prolific scorer in the domestic competitions for sometime now. He has, however, played in only three ODIs, the last of which came against Sri Lanka in 2008. This will be his best chance to prove his mettle.

Rohit, who missed the cut for the World Cup squad, is the second top scorer in Ranji Trophy this year after Badrinath and piled up 732 runs in six matches. Rohit, too, would be hoping to cement his place in the middle order.

Patel will don the gloves in the absence of Dhoni and will replace injured Sehwag as an opener.

The selection committee preferred to have another wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha as cover.

Paceman Ishant Sharma’s return was due. Ishant impressed with his bowling in Indian Premier League and generated good pace. Karnataka’s R. Vinay Kumar had been on the fringes for sometime now and he, too, has delivered consistently.

Praveen Kumar, who missed the World Cup with an elbow injury, is also back along with leg spinner Amit Mishra.

S. Sreesanth and Piyush Chawla were dropped while Ashish Nehra is out with injury.

Yusuf Pathan, who was not among runs in the World Cup, has got another chance to showcase his potential.

The omission of opening batsman Murali Vijay, however, came as a surprise.

“This is the best possible side. I am sure there is good balance in the team and I am confident that they will do well and maintain the winning momentum,” he said.

Besides the five selectors, Dhoni, newly-appointed India coach Duncan Fletcher, and BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan, as the convenor, were present.

India are scheduled to play one Twenty20 (June 4) game, followed by five One-day internationals (June 6-16) before a three-Test series (June 20-July 10).

The squad: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Suresh Raina (vice captain), Parthiv Patel (wicketkeeper), Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Subramaniam Badrinath, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Vinay Kumar, Yusuf Pathan, Amit Mishra and Wriddhiman Saha.

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