Gambhir to lead India in Dhoni’s absence

CHENNAI: India has named Gautam Gambhir as the captain of a 16-member squad to play a one-off Twenty20 international and five one-dayers in the West Indies next month.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India made the announcement through a media release on Friday.

Gambhir was named captain after selectors decided to rest World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, batting star Sachin Tendulkar and experienced pace bowler Zaheer Khan in the midst of a hectic season. All three will be available for a test series that will follow the one-dayers.

Gambhir, 29, who has played 114 one-dayers, led India to a 5-0 victory over New Zealand in a one-day home series last year.

Opener Virender Sehwag has been ruled out because of a shoulder injury and is undergoing treatment in London. The opener decided to undergo surgery for the niggling injury once his team Delhi Daredevils was out of contention for the playoffs of the ongoing Indian Premier League.

Left-arm pace bowler Ashish Nehra is also out due to a finger injury that he sustained during the World Cup.

Apart from the senior players who will be missing the limited overs internationals, those from the World Cup squad not making the cut are leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and pace bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth, who failed to impress during the tournament.

Seam bowlers Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar return on the strength of some fine performances in the IPL and first-class cricket, as does leg-spinner Amit Mishra.

Sharma impressed in a spell of 5-12 for his team Deccan Chargers that helped score a 55-run win over Kochi Tuskers, while Vinay Kumar has been consistent with the ball and is also handy with the bat.

Praveen Kumar, who is known to swing the ball appreciably both ways, was part of the original squad for the World Cup but was replaced with Sreesanth after injuring an elbow.

Parthiv Patel, who can bat up the order, and Wriddhiman Saha are the two wicketkeepers in the team.

India’s tour opens with the Twenty20 fixture at Port of Spain on June 4, with the one-day series starting at the same venue two days later.

India squad:

Gautam Gambhir (captain), Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Subramaniam Badrinath, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Vinay Kumar, Yusuf Pathan, Amit Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha.(AP)

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