India selectors shore up all-rounder’s slot, bring in Gurkeerat Mann

India pick Gurkeerat Mann for first three ODIs against South Africa; Harbhajan Singh retained for T20Is, Ravindra Jadeja ignored.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata | Updated: September 21, 2015 10:24 am
India team, India team selection, India south africa squad, India vs South Africa, Indian cricket team, india cricket, ind vs sa, india vs south africa 2015, india vs south africa tickets, india squad for south africa, gurkeerat mann, ms dhoni, virat kohli, kohli, dhoni, s aravind, india vs south africa schedule, ind vs sa 2015, india vs sa team, ind vs sa teams, cricket news, cricket Gurkeerat Mann is in phenomenal form for India ‘A’ this year. (Source: PTI)

The national selectors attempted to strengthen an Achilles’ Heel — the all-rounder’s position — by bringing in Gurkeerat Singh Mann into India’s ODI squad for the first three matches against South Africa.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, too, has been recalled to the limited-overs fold after one year, but the uncapped Punjab all-rounder was the story of the selection meeting, held in Bangalore on Sunday. Left-arm seamer Sreenath Aravind is another uncapped player who has been picked, but that’s for the three T20 internationals.

With Ravindra Jadeja losing form and out of favour, there’s a vacancy at No.7 and Gurkeerat has earned his selection by scoring an 85-ball 87 not out and taking 2/42 for India A in the tri-series final against Australia A, and then building on the momentum, giving a match-winning performance (65 off 58 balls and 5/29) in the first one-dayer against Bangladesh A.

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The 25-year-old also had 287 runs (strike-rate 80.16) in the last season’s Vijay Hazare Trophy, although he bowled only 11 overs (three wickets) in nine matches. Gurkeerat, along with Ajinkya Rahane, is arguably the best outfielder in the country and should be a good value addition to the Indian team.

“We’ve picked Gurkeerat looking at his all-round ability. Having more all-rounders is the need of the hour. Gurkeerat has come up very well over the last two years. We’ve seen him in the India A matches and also in domestic cricket where he plays for Punjab. And we are happy with the way he performed,” chief selector Sandeep Patil said.

The selectors have provided captain MS Dhoni with another option at No.7 by including Stuart Binny who bowls seam up and bats with aggression.

Mishra’s return to the shorter formats wasn’t surprising given the way he performed (157 runs, 15 wickets) in Sri Lanka, albeit in the longer format. He was preferred over Harbhajan Singh who played three ODIs in Zimbabwe. The off-spinner, however, has been chosen for the T20 internationals. Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel are the other two specialist spinners in the squads.

Patil, with BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur by his side, confirmed that they haven’t discussed anything about limited-overs captaincy. “We are very happy with the way Dhoni has led. He has our total backing for this series.”

And with Dhoni leading the team and attending the selection meeting, it wasn’t unusual that the squads have been overloaded with medium pacers. In fact, the T20 team doesn’t have a single tearaway quick as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Aravind and Binny made the list. The ODI side has one proper fast bowler in Umesh Yadav.

“We discussed this with the captain. Looking at the wickets.Pitch factor comes into play and we’ve chosen accordingly,” Patil explained. “We wanted variations. We wanted to give opportunities to those who’ve done well in the ‘A’ series,” he said about Aravind’s selection.

Shami misses out

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami wasn’t considered. The Bengal pacer has recovered from a knee surgery but after a six-month injury lay-off, he was never in contention. Shami has to prove his match fitness in domestic cricket and the Ranji Trophy fixtures before the last two ODIs allow him the opportunity to hit his straps.

Shikhar Dhawan, who suffered a hairline fracture in his right hand in Sri Lanka, has been cleared to play against South Africa. The three-match T20 series starts in Dharamsala on October 2. The five-match ODI leg begins on in Kanpur on October 11.

Teams

T20Is: MS Dhoni (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Stuart Binny, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Amit Mishra, S Aravind.

First 3 ODIs: MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

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  1. S
    shwet prakash
    May 31, 2016 at 8:16 pm
    Hi sir I am shwet prakash Singh lt;br/gt;Mai kya khu apne bare me aap bas ek chans de kar dekh le jiye ki mai apne deas ke liye crickrt khelne ke layak hu ya nahi lt;br/gt;Pleas one chans
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    1. R
      rajeshdian
      Sep 21, 2015 at 9:12 am
      The Selectors have done a fairly good job.Gurkeerats fighting qualities have been rewarded S Arvinds selection is also on merit.,we need players like him who perform when the going gets tough.Harbhajans selection for the T 20s is baffling he was given ample opportunities which he failed to cash on moreover at 36, he cannot be expected to perform in T20s,some promising bowler /allrounder should be included.
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      1. S
        Shafted mohammed
        Sep 20, 2015 at 11:56 pm
        Gurkeerat mann pla well recently and deserves a call . I sincerely hope he does well. I did not understand in what capacity Harbhajan is playing. He is neither. Batsman nor a bowler may be 11th man as he did some fielding and took few catches.
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        1. Samanvay Vegetarian
          Sep 22, 2015 at 11:09 am
          Gurkeerat,Binny are part-timers who can bowl only 2-4 overs against good teams and in challenging conditions..Rather let Ravindra Jadeja bat at No 5 and let him add a total of crucial 40-50 runs in the middle.If last 5-6 months of bad form and injury is ignored,then Jadeja is the only bowler who has regularly completed his 10 overs decently since last 2-3 years.(He was no 1 ODI bowler,no 3 ODI all-rounder and remained in top 10 ODI bowlers keeping behind ashwin and others for a considerable period of 2013 and 2014).Why he is never given a chance to bat at no 5 with MSD at 6 And Raina at 7.At no 7, Jadeja bats when only 4-5 overs are left,or when score is 90/5 in 20 overs with alarmingly high required rate. He has a decent batting average at No 7 of 33 with good strike rate of 85.His batting should be utilised by allowing him to bat naturally at No 5.If he adds 40-50-60 runs batting at No 5 at strike rate of 85-90,completes his 10 overs decently and adds electricity in fielding then why the talent is wasted by ROGER Binny.
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          1. Samanvay Vegetarian
            Sep 22, 2015 at 11:06 am
            Rather let Ravindra Jadeja bat at No 5 and adding a total of crucial 40-50 runs in the middle.If last 5-6 months of bad form and injury is ignored,then Jadeja is the only bowler who has regularly completed his 10 overs decently since last 2-3 years.Why he is never given a chance to bat at no 5 with MSD at 6 And Raina at 7.Jadeja bats when only 4-5 overs are left,or when score is 90/5 in 20 overs with alarmingly high required rate. He has a decent batting average at No 7 of 33 with good strike rate of 85.His batting should be utilised by allowing him to bat naturally at No 5.If he adds 40-50-60 runs batting at No 5 at strike rate of 85-90,completes his 10 overs decently and adds electricity in fielding then why the talent is wasted by ROGER Binny.
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