BCCI's Shukla defends ODI team selection

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Kanpur, Jan 21 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Vice President, Rajiv Shukla, has defended the national selectors decision to drop experienced players -- Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and V. V. S. Laxman -- for next month's triangular series in Australia, but said it was not the end of the road for them.

"They (the selectors) have struck a good combination in the form of both young and experienced players. And now, the game has many formats such as Tests, One Day and Twenty20. Therefore, we selected the best players for the tests, like Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, whose performances have been excellent," he said.

"The team has been selected keeping in mind the Australian conditions, but this does not mean that the players like Dravid and Ganguly have been dropped permanently from one-dayers. Whenever the selectors feel they need them, they would be chosen as well," he added.

Gautam Gambhir, who has cracked three centuries in the Ranji Trophy this season, has been included in the team, as have Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar and Dinesh Karthik.

Suresh Raina, who last played an ODI in January 2007, and Praveen Kumar, the allrounder who played an ODI last season, benefited from good performances in Uttar Pradesh's Ranji Trophy season to make the squad.

Piyush Chawla, who was impressive during last year's tour of England, takes the second spinner's spot partnering Harbhajan Singh.

Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag,

Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan,

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma,

Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Piyush Chawla and Pravin Kumar.


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