Kolkata: The national selectors on Wednesday opted for fresh blood in India's team for the World Cup in February by picking five new faces, including legendary Sunil Gavaskar's son Rohan and three new opening bowlers, in the list of 30 probables while recalling Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath for the One-day series against New Zealand this month.
The consistent performance of Baroda fast bowlers Rakesh Patel and Irfan Pathan and Mumbai medium-pacer Aavishkar Salvi were acknowledged with their inclusion in the World Cup probable list while Delhi opener Gautam Gambhir, who has been knocking at the doors of the national team for some time, has also been selected. But the selectors surprised everyone by picking veteran speedster Venkatesh Prasad, who was out of contention for more than a year, and leaving out wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra, who is in the current Test squad.
The two specialist wicket-keepers included in the list are Parthiv Patel, currently doing duty in New Zealand, and Bengal's Deep Dasgupta who had lost the confidence of the selectors after his continued lacklustre performance earlier this year. After a marathon four-hour meeting here, the national selectors announced a 14- member team for the One-dayers against New Zealand starting on December 26 and said two more players would be picked at a later date. Besides Kumble and Srinath, who missed the Test series, One-day specialist Yuvraj Singh has also been named in the squad that leaves out five players, including left- arm seamer Ashish Nehra, from the team currently playing the Test series in New Zealand.
World Cup probables: Saurav Ganguly (captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Sanjay Bangar, Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Venkat Sai Laxman, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Tinu Yohannan, Rakesh Patel, Dinesh Mongia, Gautam Gambhir, Sarandeep Singh, Murali Kartik, Ashish Nehra, Jai Prakash Yadav, L Balaji, Reetinder Sodhi, Deep Das Gupta, Irfan Pathan, Rohan Gavaskar, Avishkar Salvi, Venkatesh Prasad and Sairaj Bahutule.