Coach Kirsten backs selection of young players

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Kolkata, June 8 : Coach Gary Kirsten has lauded the national selectors for including young faces in the cricket squad for the tri-series in Bangladesh starting today.

"I think it's a challenge. It's nice to have a bit of experience in team. We can pick some young players, to have a look at them and it's important for Indian cricket future," Kirsten told reporters in Kolkata ahead of the team's departure. Yusuf Pathan and Pragyan Ojha are the new faces in the 15-member squad for the tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup in Pakistan. 25-year-old Yusuf, brother of all-rounder Irfan Pathan, is a batsman and off spinner while Ojha, 21, is a left-arm spinner.

Sachin Tendulkar will not play due to a persistent groin injury while off spinner Harbhajan Singh has been banned for five one-dayers after being found guilty of slapping S. Sreesanth in a domestic Twenty 20 game.

The selectors left out former captain Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly who also missed the tri-series campaign in Australia in January.

India has chosen Manpreet Gony in place of injured S. Sreesanth.

Kirsten termed Sreesanth's absence as 'unfortunate'.

"It's unfortunate that Sreesanth is not fit. It's an opportunity for young guys to stake their claim in the one-day team," he added.

Sreesanth, suffering from a side strain, is expected to regain fitness for the Asia Cup one-day series to be played in Pakistan from June 24 to July 6.

The Bangladesh tri-series involving Pakistan will be played from June 8 to June 14, with the six-nation Asia Cup scheduled from June 24 to July 6.

ANI

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