Allrounder Ravindra Jadeja, still recovering from a shoulder injury, and young left-arm spinner Axar Patel were today included in India's 15-member squad for the cricket World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand from next month.
The five-man selection panel, however, ignored Yuvraj Singh, who was not in the list of the 30-member probables but had come into reckoning after his three back-to-back centuries in the Ranji Trophy.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan, who struggled in the ongoing Test series against Australia, and all-rounder Stuart Binny, who bowls medium pace and has played six one-day internationals for India, have also been retained in the squad for the high-profile event to be held from February 14 to March 29.
The squad, to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni had no major surprises with the selectors opting to go with four specialist pace bowlers - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav - considering the pacy wickets in Australia and New Zealand.
Paceman Ishant Sharma was rested for the ongoing fourth and final test against Australia in Sydney with a knee problem but is expected to be fit soon.
"Ishant has a temporary injury with which he is doing well. But he has been advised by our present physio not to play the current test. He will be fit for the Tri-series," Patel added.
20-year-old Axar Patel, who has made a reasonably good impression in the few ODIs he has played, was expectedly picked in the squad, considering that Jadeja's fitness could be an issue.
Video:Indian team for World Cup selected
The selectors have however taken some risk in picking Jadeja in the squad but Patel expressed confidence that the all-rounder will be fully fit before the biggest cricket tournament.
"Jadeja at present is undergoing rehabilitation programme. He is doing wonderfully well. We had detailed discussion with BCCI physio (on his inclusion) and we are confident that he will return to training within 10 days," Patel said on Jadeja's fitness.
Yuvraj, man of the tournament in the last World Cup, came up for discussion in the selection meeting despite him not being part of the 30-man probables.
"Not only Yuvraj Singh but other names were also discussed apart from the 30 probables. There were deliberations between five selectors and captain Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher were on the conference call," Patel said.
In 2011, India won the 50-over World Cup for the second time when they hosted the quadrennial event with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The selectors also announced the team for the tri-series to follow the Test matches in Australia. Hosts Australia, India and England will compete in the tri-series. Apart from the 15 selected for the World Cup, Dhawal Kulkarni and Mohit Sharma have been included.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane can perform the role of the opener while Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rayudu and Dhoni will bat in the middle order.
The squad has three spinners in R Ashwin, Patel and Jadeja though it is highly unlikely that more than two spinners will be in the playing XI during the matches.
Despite the failures of Dhawan, particularly in the Tests, the selectors have reposed faith in the left-handed opener.
The World Cup will be staged in Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29.|
The final World Cup squad
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Rayudu, Akshar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.
(With PTI and Reuters inputs)