Yuvraj Singh in Michael Clarke’s Indian team for ICC Champions Trophy, no Dhawan
Former Australian captain Michael Clarke, who is in India commentating on the 2017 Indian Premier League, has included Yuvraj Singh in his Indian cricket team for June’s ICC Champions Trophy in UK. Neither Shikhar Dhawan nor Suresh Raina have found a place in Clarke’s 13-man squad.
India are the only team not to have named their squad in the eight-team championship from June 1-18. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is currently locked in a ‘revenue-share’ war with the International Cricket Council and has held back naming the squad.
Yuvraj Singh, whose never-say-it’s-over attitude helps script dramatic comebacks, has been chosen by Michael Clarke in the Indian team for the ICC Champions Trophy. Clarke has probably put Yuvraj’s big-hitting and match-winning prowess over form while making this call.
But for a 62 in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s opening 2017 IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Yuvraj Singh’s performance has not been impressive. But Clarke feels “Yuvraj has earned his place” in the playing XI.
Australians always back the man in form. Picking Yuvraj Singh -- who has just two fifties in his last nine limited overs innings, including five IPL knocks -- thus is slightly non-Australian!
No Shikhar Dhawan
There is no place for Yuvraj’s SRH team-mate Shikhar Dhawan. The left-handed Delhi opener, who was the Man of the Tournament when India won in 2013, has lost out to Ajinkya Rahane, who Clarke feels is the right man to open the Indian innings with Rohit Sharma, another batsman who is struggling for form in IPL.
Interestingly, Shikhar Dhawan’s current form is far better than Yuvraj Singh’s. With four scores in excess of 30, Dhawan has been quite prolific for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2017. Dhawan scored a 128 for India B in a 50-over Deodhar Trophy match vs India A in Visakhapatnam in March-end.
Most players in Michael Clarke’s Indian team pick themselves. Rahane’s technique and ability to play the news moving ball has won him a place but Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma has to work on his confidence in the remainder of the IPL.
‘Lokesh Rahul’s absence will hurt’
Lokesh Rahul’s absence will hurt India, feels Clarke, who adds in his chat with India Today that there is enough back-up to fill the slots.
“I think if KL Rahul is not completely fit, India will not pick him. It is a big loss but India have got replacements. I think Rohit Sharma needs to play and open for India.
“And then I think the selectors will go for Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane’s technique if the ball is swinging is conducive to England. No brainer at number three, Virat Kohli as captain. I think Yuvraj has earned his place (at number four), he is experienced”, Clarke said.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni retains place
He added, “I would go with MS Dhoni at number five. He is experienced and he’s still the best keeper in the Indian team. At number six, I would pick Manish Pandey and then Kedar Jadhav at number seven.
“Ashwin and Jadeja will be my two spinners and my four quicks would be Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.”
Clarke has picked 13 and that leaves scope for two more to complete the official 15. One of the Pandya brothers -- probably Hardik -- will probably sneak in while Suresh Raina will be wondering what more to do to make a Team India return unlike a Yuvraj Singh, who seems quite blessed at the moment.
Michael Clarke’s Indian Team for ICC Champions trophy (in batting order): Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli (captain), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami