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Anand Vasu in Mumbai
April 20, 2007
Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly have been rested from India's one-day squad to Bangladesh while Virender Sehwag hasn't found a place in the Test squad. In a two-hour selection meeting at the Cricket Centre offices of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the national selection committee found place for two new faces in Manoj Tiwary (ODIs) and Rajesh Pawar (Tests) while Dinesh Mongia, RP Singh, Gautam Gambhir and Piyush Chawla earned recalls.
Dilip Vengsarkar, the chairman of selectors, said Tendulkar and Ganguly had been "rested" given the hectic schedule ahead for India, who play approximately 45 ODIs in the coming year. Vengsarkar also clarified that Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan, who did not find places in either squad, had been "dropped."
Interestingly, no vice-captain was named for either squad, and it was announced that it would be up to the tour management committee, comprising captain, cricket manager and coaches, to nominate a vice-captain as and when the need arose. It's understood that Yuvraj Singh would have been a shoo-in for the job but, in the light of his recent slap on the wrists from the board for comments made in the media, and the fact that he is not always a certainty for the Test eleven, it was thought best not to name him vice-captain. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's name also came up for discussion for the job but, in the end, the selectors decided it was best left to the team management.
In another crucial move there was no place for Virender Sehwag in the Test side and, despite certain selectors wanting Gautam Gambhir in his place, it was decided that this would not be the best long-term solution. Therefore Dinesh Karthik will open for the two-Test series against Bangladesh along with Wasim Jaffer. Karthik opened the batting in the last Test India played, making a half-century and sharing a 150-plus partnership with Jaffer. Karthik filling the role in the short term could well mean that Sehwag could make his way back into the Test side for the England tour.
Rajesh Pawar, the 27-year-old left-arm spinner from Baroda, was the only new face in the Test squad while Ramesh Powar and VRV Singh made a return. Pawar has had a good domestic season for Baroda after moving from Mumbai, picking up 36 wickets at under 25 apiece.
The selectors also decided that five extra bowlers would attend the camp in Kolkata. Pankaj Singh, Vijaykumar Yomahesh, Ishant Sharma, Ranadeb Bose, all mediumpacers, and Pragyan Ojha, the young Hyderabad left-arm spinner, will train with the Indian team, although they will not be in contention for places on the Bangladesh tour.
ODI squad: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid (capt), Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Manoj Tiwary, Dinesh Mongia, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh.
Test squad: Wasim Jaffer, Dinesh Karthik, Rahul Dravid (capt), VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Anil Kumble, Sreesanth, Zaheer Khan, VRV Singh, Ramesh Powar, Rajesh Pawar, Munaf Patel.
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?