India's selectors on Saturday dropped opener Gautam Gambhir and all-rounder Yuvraj Singh for next month's Champions Trophy one-day tournament in England. The duo were part of the side that beat England 3-2 in a home one-day series in January, with Gambhir scoring just 127 runs and Yuvraj 126 in five one-dayers.
Yuvraj, treated for a rare germ-cell cancer between his lungs in the United States last year, was named man of the tournament in India's 50-over World Cup triumph in 2011. Gambhir has scored 5,238 runs in 147 one-dayers with 11 centuries while Yuvraj has made 8,211 runs in 282 matches with 13 hundreds.
India are drawn with South Africa, Pakistan and the West Indies in group B of the Champions Trophy, from which the top two will qualify for the semi-finals. The other group comprises England, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. India, who shared the 2002 Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka following a rain-hit final in Colombo, will clash with South Africa in their first match at Cardiff on June 6. Shikhar Dhawan, who played his last one-dayer against the West Indies in 2011, returned to bolster the batting. He is likely to open the innings with Murali Vijay, who also made a comeback. Dhawan, who has so far scored 69 runs in five one-dayers, rose to fame after hammering a 174-ball 187 on his Test debut against Australia in Mohali in March.
With the conditions in England expected to favour seam bowling, India named five fast bowlers -- Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, and Vinay Kumar. India picked three spinners -- Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja -- in the 15-man squad to be led by wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma are the other specialist batsmen. India are without experienced opener Virender Sehwag, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and seamer Zaheer Khan, who were not named in a 30-man preliminary squad last month. Sehwag's 219 against the West Indies in December 2011 is the highest individual score in one-dayers and he is only the second batsman to score a double-century in the shorter format after Sachin Tendulkar. But he was dropped due to poor form.
SQUAD: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Vinay Kumar.