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India has 2 left-handed allrounders for World Cup

January 6, 2015

Defending champion India has picked two left-handed spin allrounders in Ravindra Jadeja and Akshar Patel in its 15-man World Cup squad to be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

A shoulder injury to Jadeja drew speculation that Yuvraj Singh might be picked ahead of the less experienced Patel, despite Yuvraj not being in the preliminary squad of 30.

Indian cricket board secretary Sanjay Patel said on Tuesday the selectors did consider players from outside the preliminary squad but decided to go ahead with only those from the shortlist.

“Jadeja is undergoing rehabilitation, he is doing wonderfully well, and we’re hopeful he will be fit within 10 days,” Patel said. “All players were discussed (by selectors), not only Yuvraj but also others from outside the 30.”

Yuvraj’s chances brightened after he notched centuries in three consecutive first-class games. But he failed to make the cut along with other big names left out of the preliminary squad, including opener Virender Sehwag, left-hander Gautam Gambhir, offspinner Harbhajan Singh and pace bowler Zaheer Khan.

There are only four players from the 2011 World Cup squad - Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin - who will go to the tournament in Australia and New Zealand starting on Feb. 14.

Offspinner Ashwin is the main spin bowler and Suresh Raina another part-time option in the slow bowling department, beside five seam bowlers: Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and Stuart Binny.

The selectors also decided not to pick test opener Murali Vijay despite his assured batting in the ongoing test series in Australia, and retained Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order with Ajinkya Rahane another option.

The selectors consulted Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher on a teleconference call from Sydney, where India is playing the fourth test against Australia.

It was also announced that the same squad will play in a preceding tri-series in Australia, also featuring England, from Jan. 16-Feb. 1. Seam bowlers Dhawal Kulkarni and Mohit Sharma were added.

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India World Cup squad: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Akshar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Stuart Binny, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav.

India tri-series squad: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Akshar Patel, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Stuart Binny, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohit Sharma.