February 26, 2000

Ganguly captain for one dayers, Indian team for second Test

In an announcement that was widely expected, the selectors on Saturday named Saurav Ganguly as captain of the Indian team for the series of five one day internationals against South Africa to be played next month. He will also lead India in the tri-nation series in Sharjah commencing on March 22. Ganguly, besides being vice captain on the recent tour of Australia, had also led the country in the DMC Cup tournament in Toronto when Sachin Tendulkar was nursing his back injury at the start of the current season. The 28-year-old Bengal captain was widely tipped to take over as the leader once Tendulkar announced last Sunday that he would be stepping down after the two Test series against South Africa.

The selectors also announced the Indian team for the second Test against South Africa to be played at Bangalore from March 2 to 6. Two players on the injured list, Sadagoppan Ramesh and Mohd Azharuddin are back in the squad.

After the loss in the first Test at Mumbai, which ended on Saturday in a four wicket victory for South Africa, it was on the cards that the selectors would make some changes in the squad. The changes are on expected lines for the two players making way for Ramesh and Azharuddin are VVS Laxman and Ajay Jadeja. Both batsmen failed in the first Test. Another failure, Wasim Jaffer has been given another chance to come good. After all, the Mumbai game was his first Test.

Ramesh suffered a finger injury in the third and final Test against Australia at Sydney early last month. Azharuddin was in fact selected for the Mumbai Test but was ruled out due to a thumb injury he sustained while playing for the Board President's XI against the South Africans in the game prior to the Mumbai Test.

The Bangalore Test squad: Sachin Tendulkar (captain), Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Mohd Azharuddin, Wasim Jaffer, Sadagopan Ramesh, Javagal Srinath, Thiru Kumaran, Nikhil Chopra, Anil Kumble, Kartik Murali, Nayan Mongia, Ajit Agarkar and Mohd Kaif.