18 Jan 2011

India name Cricket World Cup squad

6:09 am on 18 January 2011

The Indian cricket selectors have named a tried and trusted combination for the cricket World Cup despite injury worries over key players, including batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar.

37-year-old Tendulkar, the world's leading Test and one-day batsman, pulled out of the ongoing tour of South Africa after suffering a hamstring strain during the second one-dayer in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Tendulkar's absence for the remaining three one-dayers further depleted India, who are already missing the injured trio of Virender Sehwag (shoulder), Gautam Gambhir (elbow) and Praveen Kumar (elbow).

But all four have been named in a 15-man squad for the World Cup, which opens on February 19th with India playing the first match against co-hosts Bangladesh in Dhaka.

The selectors banked on players who have taken India to second place behind Australia in the official one-day rankings, ahead of Sri Lanka, South Africa and England.

The eight batsmen in the squad include wicketkeeper-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the hard-hitting Yusuf Pathan, but there was no place for Rohit Sharma.

The only surprise choice is 22-year-old leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who played the last of his 21 one-dayers more than two years ago.

India are drawn with South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherlands in the round-robin group B from which four teams will qualify for the quarter-finals.

The other group comprises defending champions Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya.

India's World Cup squad:

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag (vice-capt), Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel.