Yuvraj Singh out of ODI squad for New Zealand tour
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The national selectors, on Tuesday, sprang a surprise by naming uncapped all-rounder Stuart Binny in the 16-member squad for the five-match ODI series in New Zealand that starts at Napier on January 19. Binny replaces Yuvraj Singh, the out-of-form all-rounder who was instrumental in India winning the 2011 World Cup. Yuvraj in his last 8 outings had scored 118 runs.
Binny, whose father Roger was part of India's 1983 World Cup winning team and is presently one of the selectors, had been a stand-out performer for Rajasthan Royals in last season's Indian Premier League. The medium pacer cum lower order batsman scored 293 runs in 17 matches at a strike rate of 147.23 and took six wickets with an economy rate of 6.75.
Turning up for Karnataka, he has cored 281 runs from six Ranji Trophy games and took 11 wickets. This comes after a dream 2012-13 season when the 29-year-old finished with 612 runs at 47.07 and took 19 wickets at 41.89.
With New Zealand expected to welcome India with green-tops, there was a school of thought that the selections should pick a technically proficient specialist who had the skills to negotiate the moving ball. After scoring 280 runs in two Tests in South Africa, Cheteshwar Pujara was the man. But by going for a a bits and pieces players, it is clear the Pujara doesn't seem to be figure in the scheme of things as the selectors look test players for the next year's World Cup that will be jointly hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
Pujara's List A average is 54.57 in 68 matches. He scored 199 runs in five List A games when he led India A to a tri-series in South Africa in August. Binny, on the other hand, has a List A average of 22.30 in 48 matches, though it has to be said he bats down the order. He also has 37 wickets at 36.64. In the three matches he played for India A in South Africa he scored six runs.