No change in Indian team for WI; Sourav neglected, Kaif selected
Mumbai, Apr 20 (UNI) The Indian selectors today reposed faith in the same 15-member squad, which went to Abu Dhabi, retaining the combination for the five one-day international (ODI) series against West Indies, beginning from May 18.
While Sourav Ganguly's name was not even discussed, the selectors gave another chance to horribly-out-of-form but ''proven performer'' Mohd Kaif as they, under the chairmanship of Kiran More, finalised the team in just about half an hour.
Talking to mediapersons later,, More said, ''Kaif is a proven performer and also a brilliant fielder. The selection committee felt that he should be given more chance and therefore he has been included in the team.'' More also expressed satisfaction over Team India's recent performance and said the bench strength had improved.
''Whatever plans we had made in the last season, have worked and every player we tried has performed to our expectations. This has given us a bench strength, specially in the bowling department,'' he said.
More also praised the performance of Ramesh Powar, Suresh Raina and Venugopal Rao.
He, however, said there was still scope for improvement and in the coming season, and they would continue to rotate the players before settling on the final 16-member squad for the World Cup next year.
Speaking on Anil Kumble, More said he has performed well, but ''we know where we are proceeding and when required, we will call him.'' On taking just one wicket-keeper on the tour, More said one keeper was more than enough.
''We have decent back-up players in Robin Uthappa and Rahul Dravid who can keep wickets if the need arises.'' The Indian team will assemble in Mumbai on May 10 before leaving for West Indies the next day.
India will take on West Indies in the first one-dayer in Jamica on May 18.
Team: Rahul Dravid (Captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Mohd Kaif, Y Venugopal Rao, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ifran Pathan, S Sreesanth, R P Singh, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh and Ramesh Powar.
Itinerary: May 18 First ODI Jamaica May 20 Second ODI Jamaica May 23 Third ODI St Kitts May 26 Fourth ODI Trinidad May 28 Fifth ODI Trinidad UNI GS KD DH RS1545