September 30, 2013 3:12:32 am
In the last few months,India have won the ICC Champions Trophy and the tri-series in the West Indies,while the reserves mauled Zimbabwe in a five-match ODI series. Despite having such a successful ODI squad,the selectors who will convene for a selection meeting in Chennai on Monday may just end up making a change to a winning squad. Ignoring Yuvraj Singh,in such form,may not be easy.
Since his return from Brive-la-Gaillarde in southern France,Yuvraj has looked leaner,fitter and has scored runs in several List A games. He has made his case on the pitch by scoring 123,40 and 61 against West Indies A,and a fluent 84 against India Red that had propelled his team to the Challenger Trophy final. A tournament he ended up winning as captain on Sunday.
With a 15-member Indian team to be picked for the first three ODIs and the one-off T20 international against Australia,Yuvraj has given the selectors a happy problem.
We are happy with the way Yuvraj has scored his runs against West Indies A and the Challenger Trophy. Its a very healthy sign for Indian cricket that no one can take their places for granted. If Yuvraj is picked,hes expected to feature in the playing XI. We will go (into the meeting) with an open mind, a selector told The Indian Express on Sunday.
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This happy problem for the selectors is that a large proportion of the ODI squad pick themselves due to their respective performances. However,a proven match-winner like Yuvraj (with 8,211 runs in 282 ODIs) makes for a compelling case when he has been showing signs of returning close to his peak.
Meanwhile,Irfan Pathans rib injury might open the door for Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar,while Mohit Sharma and Jaydev Unadkat,who performed well in the Zimbabwe one-dayers,are considered to be the dark horses in the pace bowling department.
Amit Mishra is also likely to retain his place as the third spinner after returning with 18 wickets from Zimbabwe.
The selectors now have to decide if they will go with a separate squad for the lone T20 international against Australia,which will kickstart the forthcoming tour in Rajkot,on October 10.
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