Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla has been picked in the 15-member Indian squad for the ICC World Twenty20 championship to be played in the West Indies from April 30 to May 16. Seamer R. Vinay Kumar has also been included.
The selectors have picked a wrist spinner in Chawla ahead of a second left-arm spinner in Pragyan Ojha — with Ravindra Jadeja being the automatic choice as a left-arm spinner/all-rounder. Moreover, Yuvraj Singh is also of the same ilk.
While Chawla's selection may have come out of a rational thought process — he can contribute with the bat too — the selection of Rohit Sharma is surprising.
Till Thursday evening, Delhi's Virat Kohli was the front-runner for the specialist batsman's position because of his recent performances; he is a brilliant fielder too.
After being awarded the BCCI central contract for Rs. 40 lakh, Rohit has played just one ODI for India — against South Africa in February.
To be fair, he was laid low by injury and even missed a chance to make his Test debut against South Africa at Nagpur.
But, Kohli — who the BCCI has signed on in the Rs. 15 lakh group — was in exceptional form in the recent ODI series.
Ashish Nehra — in the Rs. 40 lakh group — who played his last match against South Africa on February 27 and has not turned out for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL this season, has been picked ahead of Ishant Sharma, R.P. Singh, S. Sreesanth, Munaf Patel and Sudip Tyagi.
Apart from Nehra, seamers Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar and newcomer R.Vinay Kumar are also in the squad.
The squad: M.S. Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Vinay Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla.
Women's team for the ICC T20 World Cup: Jhulan Goswami (captain), Mithali Raj, Poonam Raut, Sulakshana Naik, Anagha Deshpande, Rumeli Dhar, Amita Sharma, Harmanpreet Kaur, Reema Malhotra, Diana David, Gouhar Sultana, Sonia Dabir, Priyanka Roy, Anjum Chopra.