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Yuvraj a certainty as selectors pick ODI squad to face Australia

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: September 30, 2013, 8:17 AM IST
Yuvraj a certainty as selectors pick ODI squad to face Australia

The cliche "performance should be the sole criterion for selection" fits the bill for Yuvraj Singh's walk back into India's limited-overs team when the selectors meet on Monday to pick the squad that will face the touring Australians in one-off Twenty20 that will follow a seven-match ODI series.

Yuvraj Singh's last six innings - 29 and 84 in the NKP Salve challenger Trophy and 52, 61, 40 and 123 in the limited-overs series against West Indies A - are enough to re-invent selectors' interest in India's World Cup hero, who once again looks hungry for success.

The Sandeep Patil-led BCCI selection panel will pick the squad for the lone Twenty20 and first three ODIs, but it's still not certain if they will select two separate squads, which provides an option to include more players.

Yuvraj last played for India on January 27 against England at Dharamsala, after which he was dropped due to poor form. But Yuvraj, who has fought more serious battles than loss of batting form, took it in his stride and seems to have turned it around.

The Punjab batsman underwent a rigorous training programme in France to return fitter to competitive cricket. And his consistency against West Indies A and for India Blue in the Challenger Trophy should be enough to earn an India recall.

Other than Yuvraj's inclusion, not much is expected to change in the batting line-up, with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni picking themselves. Dinesh Karthik should also retain his place as a batsman cum reserve wicketkeeper.

Useful batting skills of spinners Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin should allow the selectors to limit the number of batsmen in the squad to seven. Ashwin will return to the squad after being rested for the Zimbabwe tour.

Amit Mishra took 18 wickets in the 5-0 series win away in Zimbabwe and should retain his place, with the pace-bowling slots going to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. It could be a toss-up between Mohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar and Jaydev Unadkat for the reserve pacer's place.

Irfan Pathan is injured, which could allow one of the domestic allrounders a look-in. Parvez Rasool or Abhishek Nayar is expected to get that place, but with his ability to bowl seam-up like Irfan, Nayar may get the nod.

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First Published: September 30, 2013, 8:17 AM IST

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