Indian selectors have shifted their focus to the 2015 World Cup in Australia & New Zealand and there was ample indication of this when the squad for the five-match ODI series in England was announced yesterday.
With barely six months to go for the mega event, the Sandeep Patil-led selection committee decided to give youngsters a chance to prove themselves in challenging English conditions.
Kerala's wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, Haryana all-rounder Karn Sharma, pace bowler Mohit Sharma, and Mumbai pacer Dhawal Kulkarni were rewarded with a place in the side for their good showing in the recently-concluded India 'A' tour to Australia.
"Considering the next World Cup, the selectors wanted to put more emphasis on youngsters like Samson, Binny, Dhawal," Sanjay Patel, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said.
Samson in form
Samson hit 241 runs in seven matches in the quadrangular tournament which India won by beating the Aussies.
Sharma claimed three wickets in three matches and was involved in a match-winning 16-ball 39 effort as well. Kulkarni claimed 14 wickets and conceded 263 runs in six matches and took 1-71 in a four-day game.
However, Naman Ojha, who was called up to replace wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha in the ongoing Test series, was unlucky to miss the bus although he smashed a double hundred and two centuries in three innings he played in the four-day matches against Australia 'A.
The number of runs Sanju Samson hit in the quadrangular series in Aus
Karn Sharma, the talented Haryana all-rounder, is over the moon after his selection. "I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight. It is a huge thing for me to be selected in the Indian team. I was expecting a call up because I had a good last season and did well in the 'A' tour to Australia," he said.