Poor ODI form against England costs Gambhir, Yuvi dearly

Mumbai: Two years after playing major roles in the World Cup final that the hosts won, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh find themselves omitted from the India squad for the next major ICC event, the Champions Trophy commencing June 6.

On April 2, 2011, the 31-year-old Gambhir scored 97 off 122 balls and anchored the Indian innings brilliantly during the memorable and successful run-chase against Sri Lanka.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91 not out) and Yuvraj (21 not out) then guided the hosts home past Lanka's 274 with an unfinished fifth-wicket partnership to herald night-long celebrations all over the country.

While Dhoni secured the man of the match award in the summit clash for his blistering knock that included the winning shot, Yuvraj won the man of the series award for his splendid all-round display in cricket's showpiece event.

However, India's form in overseas Test matches and ODIs has dipped since that unforgettable day two years ago.

Gambhir and Yuvraj, both 31 and left-handed, under-performed in the previous two ODI rubbers at home against Pakistan in December 2012 and England in January, leading to their sacking.

Gambhir scored 127 runs from five games against England while Yuvraj got 126 from as many. Both the batsmen flopped by scoring an identical 34 runs in three games against Pakistan.

The selectors have wielded the axe on this senior duo for this indifferent display.

The brilliant form of another left handed opener from Delhi, Shikhar Dhawan, who made a sensational Test debut against Australia at Mohali before picking up an injury from which he has recovered now, has given the selectors the opportunity to leave Gambhir out for the present.