March 7, 2001

Indian news round-up

Staff and Agencies

Gilchrist recovers, will play Kolkata Test

Australia's star batsman in the Mumbai Test, Adam Gilchrist has recovered from his hip injury and will play the second Test at Kolkata starting March 11. Taking to reporters, the Australian captain Steve Waugh said in New Delhi on Tuesday "It is only a small side strain. He will be ready to play the second Test."

Gilchrist who was ruled out of the match against the Indian Board President's XI after sustaining a hip strain was replaced by Brad Haddin, who was flown in from Australia. On the preparation for the Kolkata Test, Waugh expressed satisfaction with his team's performance at close of the opening day's play at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.

The Aussie captain hoped opener Michael Slater, who has struggled on this tour, will come good before the Test. "He is a fine batsman and has scored 14 Test centuries. He knows how to do it (regain his form)," he said.

Ganguly should open the innings, says Gaekwad

Former Indian coach Anshuman Gaekwad suggested that Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly should open the innings with Shiv Sunder Das while Sadagopan Ramesh could be fitted in the middle-order for the Kolkata Test.

Talking over the phone to PTI from Baroda, Gaekwad said "When Ganguly can open the batting in one-dayers, why can't he do so in Tests as well? By opening the batting he will give confidence to young Das as well and if they manage a good foundation then the middle order with Sachin (Tendulkar) and Rahul (Dravid) can benefit a lot", he said. "India cannot bank on Sachin to deliver the goods every time and it is time Ganguly takes some initiative and starts opening the innings which can also leave the Aussies thinking of a new strategy," Gaekwad said.

Commenting about Ganguly's captaincy in the first Test at Mumbai which India lost by ten wickets, Gaekwad said "It is quite natural that a big partnership comes up once in a way like Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist did. You cannot solely blame the captain for it. However, there is no point in talking about the past and the Indians should regroup and play positively, like they did the last time around in 1998, without worrying about the nature of the pitch," he added.

Khoda to lead Rajasthan in Ranji pre-quarters

The Rajasthan Cricket Association's selection committee on Tuesday announced a 15-member team for their Ranji Trophy pre-quarterfinal clash against Punjab at Mohali from March 10 to 14. Rajasthan finished top of the Central Zone league with 23 points to lift the Mewar Trophy for the second successive season. They beat Uttar Pradesh by six wickets in their opening fixture and took the first innings lead against Madhya Pradesh, Railways and Vidarbha.

Rajasthan are led by skipper Gagan Khoda who is fresh from stroking a triple hundred in the Duleep Trophy against South Zone last month. That knock also helped Khoda - who played two ODI's for India in the 1997/98 season - win a place in the India A squad against the touring Australians at Nagpur. Khoda is currently leading the run tally for Rajasthan with 273 runs in the league, although 20-year-old Vinit Saxena heads the averages at 60.5.

The team: Gagan Khoda (captain), Nikhil Doru, Vineet Saxena, Rahul Kanwat, P Krishnakumar, Saket Bhatia, Kuldeep Singh, Anshu Jain, Sanjeev Sharma, Rohit Jhalani (wicket-keeper), Devendra Pal Singh, Mohd. Aslam, Anup Dave, Kishan Chaudhury and Pramod Yadav. Coach: Harish Joshi. Manager: Anant Vyas.