Amit Mishra is having a terrific IPL season, but could miss the cut for the Champions Trophy © BCCI
Players/Officials: Shikhar Dhawan | Ashok Dinda | Amit Mishra | Cheteshwar Pujara | Shami Ahmed
Three bowlers that featured in India’s squad during the home ODIs series against England in January are likely to miss out on the Champions Trophy, to be played in England from June 5.
Legspinner Amit Mishra, one of the stars of the current season of the IPL, is set to be a casualty along with Bengal pace duo of Ashok Dinda and Shami Ahmed when the selectors name the squad in Mumbai on Saturday evening.
While fast bowler Umesh Yadav is certain to return to international cricket after breaking down with a lower back injury during the first Test against England last November, Vinay Kumar and Irfan Pathan are front-runners in what would be a five-man pace bowling attack.
With the conditions in England not favouring spin, Mishra, who was the reserve spinner for the England ODIs, is likely to miss the cut with R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja available. While Vinay has been ignored by the national selectors since the last year’s Asia Cup in March, Irfan broke down after returning from India’s limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka in July-August last year.
This would mean that in the absence of Zaheer Khan, who hasn’t recovered from side strain, India would be able to field the seam attack of Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar with Vinay and Pathan being the back-up bowlers. Both Vinay and Irfan have had an impressive IPL campaign so far, and one of them will lose out on a plane to England only if the selectors decide to stick with Ahmed. Dinda, having had a horrendous run with the ball for Pune Warriors, especially in the death overs, is all but certain to be axed from the 15-member squad.
In the batting unit, the only major change is likely to be Shikhar Dhawan replacing Cheteshwar Pujara. Having recovered from the fracture that he suffered during his memorable Test debut, Dhawan is all set for another stint in the shorter version. Dhawan, who last featured in an ODI almost two years ago, hasn’t done much of note during his five ODI appearances.
Despite being under pressure to retain their places in the squad, opener Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh are likely to return their places in the squad.