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Harbhajan, 34-year-old Bhatia among World T20 probables

Last updated on: January 17, 2014 21:03 IST

Harbhajan SinghSeasoned opener Gautam Gambhir was omitted from India's 30-man probables' list for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20, to be held in Bangladesh, from March 16 to April 6.

Delhi all-rounder Rajat Bhatia is a surprise inclusion in the shortlist, which includes young Kerala wicketkeeper Sanju Samson, former India Under-19 captain Unmukt Chand, veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh and Railways leg-spinner Karan Sharma, who made an impression in the IPL and Champions League for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Harbhajan was rewarded for his IPL performance last season. He was among the top wicket-takers with 24 scalps, at an impressive economy rate of 6.15.

His batting form is also good of late, having scored a match-winning 92 for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals last week.

Like his opener partner Virender Sehwag, the left-handed Gambhir, who is no longer in the Indian ODI or Test team too, has been out of the selection radar for quite some time due to poor form.

Irfan and Yusuf Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay were also unable to make the list.

The biggest surprise, however, is the inclusion of 34-year-old Rajat Bhatia.

The Delhi stalwart was quite effective for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. He has scored 5089 runs and taken 107 wickets in 87 first-class matches.

He played 104 T20 matches and figured in all six editions of the Indian Premier League, the first three for Delhi Daredevils and the last three for the Kolkata franchise.

Coming in at No 7 or 8, his strike-rate is 116. He has 78 wickets at an economy rate of 7.15, which is decent by T20 standards.

Bengal's Ashoke Dinda (37 wickets) and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (584 runs and 9 wickets) also failed to make it to the 30-member squad.

The probables have largely been picked on the basis of their IPL performance and that is the reason why Mandeep Singh of Kings XI Punjab and Shahbaz Nadeem, the Delhi Daredevils' left-arm spinner, have made the grade.

The probables: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Kartik, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Amit Mishra, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Vishwanadh Samson, Ishwar Pandey, Umesh Yadav, Unmukt Chand, Mandeep Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Varun Aaron, S. Nadeem, Parthiv Patel, Karn Sharma.

Image: Harbhajan Singh

Photograph: Tom Shaw/Getty Images