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'No controversy in omitting Sreesanth'

BCCI selectors said the paceman's omission should not be mixed up with Mongia's selection.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2006 17:08 IST

Paceman S Sreesanth was dropped purely on cricketing reasons and no controversy should be made out of his omission from the Champions Trophy squad, a national selector claimed on Monday.

"There is no controversy here. Sreesanth was not picked because we don't need more than four fast bowlers when playing in India and R P Singh has done well for India 'A'," the selector said.

The selector said Sreesanth's performance in the longer version of the game has been better but that did not mean he did not fit in the one-day scheme of things.

"Yes, Sreesanth has done well in the Tests but we are not saying that he won't be picked for the one-dayers. He is there in the team for Malaysia."

The Kerala bowler was picked in the 15-member squad for the Malaysian tri-series (Sep 12-24) but ignored for the 14-man squad for Champions Trophy, to be held in four centres in India, when the selectors met in Mumbai on Sunday.

The decision to drop Sreesanth came as a surprise as he was being billed as the spearhead of the Indian attack not very long ago.

Sreesanth has picked 19 wickets from 5 Tests at 29.78 but has been a trifle more expensive in one-dayers, his 24 wickets in 18 matches costing 36.20.

On the other hand, R P Singh averages 38.33 with 9 wickets in the two Tests he has played and 29.52 in the one-dayers with 19 wickets.

The selector also said Sreesanth's omission should not be mixed up with the selection of Dinesh Mongia who hails from Punjab which has a strong clout in the Board's functioning at the moment.

Mongia last played a one-day match against Pakistan at Delhi in 2005. He had a fine outing with Leicestershire in the English County last season and was their third best batsman with an average of 53.33 this summer again.

"The two have different roles. We picked Mongia because he can contribute a little bit with both bat and ball. And we needed a left-arm spinner," the selector said.