Mumbai: The 15-member India squad for next month's ICC Champions Trophy will be picked on Saturday.
It would be interesting to see whether the selectors give a chance to axed senior players such as Virender Sehwag, who does not figure in the 30-member list of probable chosen earlier. When the selection panel, headed by Sandeep Patil, named the list of probables on April 6, two prominent names -- Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh -- were missing from it.
Since then, the two senior cricketers' form in the ongoing Indian Premier League would have been monitored by the selectors. It remains to be seen whether the duo have made enough of an impression with their displays in the T20 League to force their way into the final squad for the Champions Trophy tournament beginning from June 6 in England.
As per the ICC rules, the selectors have the option to choose players from even outside the probable list announced for the ODI tournament, to be held in England and Wales. The list contains four openers -- Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir and Unmukt Chand -- and it would be interesting to see whether Sehwag makes it as one of three openers likely to be chosen in the final 15.
Similarly, for the spinners' slot, there are five claimants in R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Jalaj Saxena and Parveez Rasool. Whether Harbhajan can force his way back after showing some good form in IPL remains to be seen.
There are seven middle-order batsmen, four wicketkeepers -- including Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is expected to be named the skipper -- and 10 medium pace bowlers in the probable mix. India and South Africa are scheduled to kick off the contest on June 6 at the Sophia Gardens at Cardiff, Wales in a Group B match.
India are to take on the West Indies at the Kennington Oval in London on June 11 and then conclude the four-team group engagement on June 15 against arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka form Group A. The top two teams from each group would progress to the semi-finals scheduled on June 19 and 20 at the Kennington Oval and Sophia Gardens respectively with the winners advancing to the June 23 final to be played at Edgbaston.
This would be the first international engagement for the team after the conclusion of the four-Test series against Australia on March 24.
The list of 30 Indian probable: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Unmukt Chand, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Ajinkya Rahane, A Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, M S Dhoni, Wriddhiman Saha, Dinesh Karthik, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Jalaj Saxena, Parvez Rasool, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Irfan Pathan, Vinay Kumar, Paveen Kumar, I C Pandey and Sidharth Kaul.