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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Yuvraj Singh is back in action!

NEW DELHI: Yuvraj Singh, who has started training after recuperating from a rare germ cell cancer, was on Wednesday named in India’s 30-member list of probables for the September-October World Twenty20 Championships in Sri Lanka.Seasoned off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, 32, who has been on the sidelines for a quite some time due to poor form, has also been included in the squad.A few promising youngsters such as all-rounder Mandeep Singh and wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha and domestic veterans such as batsman Ambati Rayudu were picked in the list announced by the BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale.Pacer Laxmipathy Balaji, who last played an international match in 2009, was also part of the provisional list which will be pruned to a 15-member squad at a later stage.Yuvraj, who started practicing in Bangalore’s National Cricket Academy after undergoing chemotherapy in the United States earlier this year, was targetting a return to international cricket with the World Twenty20 Championships.In the T20 format, he is best remembered for his astonishing six sixes off one Stuart Broad over at the 2007 edition of the mega-event.The 30-year-old Yuvraj was expected to make the cut at least in the preliminary list given that the selectors were themselves keen on having the flamboyant left-hander back in the squad. “I think a guy who has won the World Cup for us deserves to come back,” chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth had stated.Surprise picks in the squad are long-forgotten Balaji, who has not played any Twenty20 for the national team. In fact, Balaji’s last ODI appearance for the country was back in 2009 against Sri Lanka.The rest of the squad features players who have been in and out of the team on a rotational basis. Youngsters in the line-up include batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who would be filling up for Sachin Tendulkar in the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. Shikhar Dhawan, who endured an indifferent tour of the West Indies with the India A squad, has also been included.The IPL effect was there to be seen in the squad with the selectors including 20-year-old all-rounder Mandeep Singh in the squad. The Kings XI Punjab player, who is a former under-19 captain, has been rewarded for his fine performance for Kings XI in the IPL. Rayudu has also got in on the merit of his consistent IPL performances for Mumbai Indians.Regular stars such as Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan have been expectedly included.The squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, R. Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Mandeep Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Naman Ojha, Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, L Balaji.PTI

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