Calcutta: Gautam Gambhir was ignored by the national selectors when they picked the 30-member probables for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 scheduled to be held in Bangladesh in March-April. Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh was included in the list.
Delhi all-rounder Rajat Bhatia was a surprise inclusion while young wicket-keeper-batsman Sanju Samson, who has been a revelation in the shortest format, and former India U-19 captain Unmukt Chand were also included among the probables.
Unheralded Railways leg-spinner Karn Sharma, who made an impression in the IPL and Champions League for Sunrisers Hyderabad, has also found a place.
Harbhajan has been rewarded for his IPL performance last season where he was among the top wicket-takers with 24 scalps at an impressive economy rate of 6.15. His batting form has also been good of late as he hit a match-winning 92 for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy quarter final last week.
Virender Sehwag didn’t make it either, but with his abysmal form in the domestic season it was more or less expected. Irfan and Yusuf Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay also did not figure in the list.
Gambhir last played for India in the ODI against England on January 27, 2013. After being dropped, Gambhir was part of the India A squad in the series against West Indies A, during which he scored a century.
He also scored a Ranji century just before India’s squad for South Africa was picked, but that wasn’t enough to earn a recall.
Dhoni even remarked before India left for South Africa that Gambhir continues to be the third-best Test opener in India but his non-selection shows he faces a long road back into the side.
The probables list has largely been picked on the basis of IPL performance and that is the reason why Mandeep Singh of Kings XI Punjab and Shahbaz Nadeem, the Jharkhand left-arm spinner, have made the grade. Nadeem plays for Delhi DareDevils.
But the biggest surprise has been the inclusion of 34-year-old Bhatia. The all-rounder has been a regular with Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
He has played 104 T20 matches and has played in all six IPLs — the first three for Delhi DareDevils and the last three for KKR.
Bengal’s Ashoke Dinda and Laxmi Ratan Shukla, however, failed to make it to the 30-member list.
Men: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Dinesh Kartik, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Amit Mishra, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Vishwanadh Samson, Ishwar Pandey, Umesh Yadav, Unmukt Chand, Mandeep Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Varun Aaron, Shahbaz Nadeem, Parthiv Patel, Karn Sharma.
Women: Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Karuna Jain, Smriti Mandhana, Amita Sharma, Poonam Raut, Jhulan Goswami, Nagarajan Niranjana, Shubhlakshmi Sharma, Rajeshwari Gaikwad, Veda Krishnamurthy, Ekta Bist, Sonia Dabir, VR Vanita, Anagha Deshpande, Gouhar Sultana, Archana Das, Sneh Rana, Snehal Pradhan, Shwetha Jadhav, Sushma Verma, Shika Pandey, Madhuri Mehta, Thirush Kamini, Saika Ishaque, Neetu Jaiswal, Meghna Singh, Anita Lodhi, Ritu Dhrub, Asha Joy.