| Kumble was kept out keeping team’s long-term interests in mind, says More
Mumbai: Sourav Ganguly on Sunday failed to make a comeback to the national side with the selectors ignoring him along with ace spinner Anil Kumble, paceman Zaheer Khan and batsman V.V.S. Laxman for the ICC Champions Trophy.
The former India captain, who figured among the 30 probables for the mini World Cup, did not find a place among the 14-member squad, which surprisingly does not include Sreesanth, billed as the pace spearhead of the Indian attack with Munaf Patel.
Kumble was also ignored after he failed to recover from a shoulder injury picked up during a County stint with Surrey.
For the tri-series against Australia and the West Indies in Malaysia from September 12 to 24, the selectors retained the 15-member squad that toured Sri Lanka recently.
Chairman of selectors Kiran More said Kumble was kept out of the Champions Trophy squad keeping in mind the hectic schedule ahead.
“We had a long discussion regarding Kumble’s inclusion in the Champions Trophy squad with the captain (Rahul Dravid) and the coach (Greg Chappell). In the end it was decided that we should not take any chances (with his fitness) keeping in mind the long-term interests of the team,” More said.
On the omission of Sreesanth, More said the committee felt that Uttar Pradesh’s Rudra Pratap Singh deserved a chance since he was bowling impressively of late and did well for India A in the Top-End series in Australia in June-July.
“This does not mean that Sreesanth is out of focus. He’s very much in the running. It’s just a question of four or five matches in the Champions Trophy. The question of left and right bowling combinations was also considered,” he said.
On the squad for Malaysia, More said, “we did not feel the need to choose more than 15 players as it’s a short visit.”
More said no other names — including that of Sourav and Laxman — were discussed at the meeting.
“We have asked Robin Uthappa, S. Badrinath, T.P. Singh, V.R.V. Singh, Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik to come to Chennai for the team’s two warm-up ties (September 8 and 9) before the Malaysia departure,” he added.
Meanwhile, captain Rahul Dravid said: “It’s going to be an exciting series in Malaysia with three very good teams in the fray.
“We are looking forward to some action after the (weather enforced) break in Sri Lanka,” Dravid said after unveiling the DLF Cup for the Malaysia tri-series.
Batsmen: Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammed Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Mongia, Suresh Raina
Wicketkeeper: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Spinners: Harbhajan Singh, Ramesh Powar
Mediumpacers: Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel
Called for practice matches in Chennai
Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Tejinder Pal Singh, Subramaniam Badrinath, V.R.V. Singh and Rohit Sharma