Chawla surprise inclusion, Rohit, Sreesanth omitted from squad

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Chennai, Jan 17 (PTI) Leg spinner Piyush Chawla was thesurprise inclusion while young batsman Rohit Sharma andspeedster S Sreesanth were today dropped from India''s15-member squad for the upcoming cricket World Cup to be heldin the sub-continent from February 19.

Tamil Nadu spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who is also auseful batsman, was also named in the squad announced by theBCCI secretary N Srinivasan after a meeting of the selectioncommittee here.

There were just a couple of spots up for grabs in theteam and the selectors opted to include Chawla and Ashwinahead of Pragyan Ojha in the squad which has as many as threespecialist spinners which came as a surprise.

India''s major concern ahead of the team selection was theinjuries to four key players - Sachin Tendulkar, VirenderSehwag, Gautam Gambhir and pacer Praveen Kumar - but theselectors decided to include them, expecting all four to befit in time for the high-profile tournament.

Apart from inclusion of Chawla, who last played a ODImatch in 2008, there were no major surprises in the squad tobe captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virender Sehwag ashis deputy.

The national selectors, who met for one and half hoursto finalise the team here, picked three specialist spinnersconsidering that the high profile-event will be held in India,Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"This is the best possible winning combination we havepicked up which will win us the World Cup. We (selectors)engaged in thorough discussion at the meeting here beforefinalising the squad.

"Taking into account all the conditions like wickets,the opposition we will be playing, the selectors have chosen avery well balanced team," said chief selector KrishnamachariSrikkanth told reporters after the meeting.

The chief selector said the reason behind picking upthree specialist spinners were the turning wickets in India.

"Don''t forget that you are playing in India. The spinnersprobably play a very major role on the turning wickets. I amconfident that the kind of balance we have, the kind ofbatting line-up we have, this cricket team led by M S Dhoniand others will do the job for us", he said.

"This particular Indian team is doing brilliantly for thelast couple of years in both Test and ODI cricket. They areplaying consistently not only in India but outside. We areconfident this team will do well and win the world cup for usin front of the home crowd," he added. More PTI RE MRM

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