Home > Features >

ICC Champions Trophy 2013: Yuvraj Singh’s axing is most surprising

ICC Champions Trophy 2013: Yuvraj Singh’s axing is most surprising

If Rohit Sharma can be given a long run despite repeated failures, why can’t a Yuvraj Singh (above) be persisted with? After all, he has a good one-day record and has won India numerous tournaments © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

A new-look Indian side is set to travel to England for the ICC Champions Trophy, 2013 and the big news is that Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh won’t feature on that trip. The Indian selectors have announced the 15-member squad for the tournament and it has a different make-up when compared to side that took on England during the home One-Day International (ODI) series earlier this year.

Here is India’s squad for the Champions Trophy: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c and wk), Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, R Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma.

Along with Gambhir and Yuvraj, Ashok Dinda, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Shami Ahmed have been given the boot (when compared to the squad for the England series). If the exclusion of Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan from the 30-man probables was surprising, the axing of Gambhir and Yuvraj from the final squad was unexpected.

Gambhir has been in patchy form for some time and people might say the call is fifty-fifty. Shikhar Dhawan’s cricketing stocks have soared tremendously since his brilliant hundred on Test debut. An injury ruled him out of a few games at the Indian Premier League (IPL), 2013 but has looked good since his return. He seems to be the replacement for Gambhir in the squad. However, Vijay’s call-up is a bit surprising although he was in fantastic touch during the Test series

During the series against England, India promoted Rohit to the opening slot and that move worked well. He had opened the batting for India during the ICC World T20 2009 in England and should be India’s choice for the role. As a result, Rahane lost out and finds himself on the bench yet again.

Yuvraj hasn’t enjoyed a very successful run since his return to the ODI setup late last year. However, he is a talismanic player and axing him from a big tournament is a huge gamble. He is one player who can rally the side single-handedly and inspire them with all-round performances. If one looks at India’s major successes in one-day cricket in the last decade, Yuvraj has the key to those victories. He deserved a longer run in the side as it isn’t that he hasn’t been in bad form. Even during the ongoing IPL, he has looked in touch and is striking the ball well.

Although India have Jadeja as the all-rounder and the extra bowling option, Yuvraj can also be handy with ball. He doesn’t turn the ball and looks innocuous, but can trouble the batsmen with a nagging length. They also succumb to the temptation of hitting him out of the park and he uses that aspect very well to trap his victims.

A very pertinent question is: If a Rohit can be given a long run despite repeated failures, why can’t a Yuvraj be persisted with? After all, he has a good one-day record and has won India numerous tournaments. Perhaps, the selectors wanted a back-up wicket-keeping option and named the in-form Karthik in the side.

Amit Mishra’s call-up is a very positive move. The leg-spinner has been in fantastic form in the IPL and hasn’t got his due at the highest level. This is a reward for his consistency. However, Ashwin would be the preferred spinner in the eleven, with Jadeja being the all-rounder. Teams wouldn’t be keen to play too many spinners in their line-ups in England.

A lot of the focus would be on fast-bowling as that department can exploit the conditions in England. Bhuvneshwar gets a chance to bowl in a setting that aids his strengths. Even on unhelpful tracks in India, he gets copious movement and one waits to watch him bowl in England. He would be India’s trump-card for the tournament. Irfan makes a comeback and he is the second swing-bowler in the side.

The return of Yadav is a huge boost as it adds a new dimension to the attack. His pace would be a handful and would be a sea change when compared to the other military medium options in the team. Vinay Kumar also makes a comeback and would be eager to carry his IPL form into that tournament. This is an opportunity for the seamers to impress as that has been a major Achilles Heel for India since the last World Cup.

On a whole, the squad seems to have balance and it has been picked with an eye on the next World Cup. The only problem would be picking the right combination as it is a completely different squad. Dhoni would hope that it doesn’t cause instability and that they are able to zero in on the perfect make-up ahead of their opening encounter.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/nishad_44)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham


Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 198 runs


Don Bradman's ducks


Mitchell Marsh: This is a big opportunity for me

India vs England Live Cricket Score 2nd ODI at Cardiff: India win by 113 runs by D/L method

Australia vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, Zimbabwe Tri Series 2014 Match 2 at Harare: South Africa win by 7 wickets

Don Bradman and his ducks

India vs England ODI series 2014: Why an Indian win will be surprising

MS Dhoni taking on England in England and BCCI at home!

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

MS Dhoni did not cross the line, clarifies BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel

Suresh Raina: Ravi Shastri gave us a lot of confidence

India vs England 2nd ODI stats highlights

Champions League T20 2014: Online sale of tickets begin

Adam Gilchrist ‘apologises’ to Glenn McGrath on Twitter

Indian team discusses victory over England in 2nd ODI on Facebook

AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and other instances of two batsmen scoring centuries in a chase of over 300

India vs England 2nd ODI stats highlights

Ice Bucket Challenge inspires Shane Warne, Andrew Symonds and Salman Butt to come up with innovative ideas!

West Indies vs Bangladesh, only T20I at Basseterre Preview: Hosts will look to maintain clean slate

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

664 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny cricket video

7.5 tonne ‘maha laddu’ kicks off Ganesh festival in Andhra Pradesh

Full online approvals of large projects from March 2015: PMG

Suresh Raina: Ravi Shastri gave us a lot of confidence

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Mauricio Ruiz becomes first gay sailor of Chilean navy

NGOs pursue education for all

Matt Damon takes the ice bucket challenge with toilet water, challenges George Clooney next!- Watch video!

LG G Watch R with circular dial, Android Wear and IP67 rating announced ahead of IFA

How Arjun Kapoor got so ripped for his ‘Gunday’ look (Exclusive interview with trainer Harry Ranson)

Know your exercise: Bent-over dumbbell rear delt raise for broad shoulders

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here