September 21, 2003

Ramesh and Dasgupta picked for tour games against New Zealand

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Deep Dasgupta and Sadagopan Ramesh will get another opportunity to stake their claims for berths in the national squad, as both were named in the 14-man India A line-up which will play against New Zealand in a tour game from October 2-4. The selectors also announced the Board President's squad, which will take on New Zealand from September 26-28. Akash Chopra, who performed creditably on the A tour to the West Indies before being forced out with a knee injury, was the only player to figure in both squads.

The selectors also plumped for Munaf Patel, the fast bowler from Gujarat who is yet to play a first-class match. Patel came into prominence this season after drawing high praise from Dennis Lillee and other experts at the MRF Pace Academy. Munaf was included in the India A squad, while Tinu Yohannan, who promised plenty on his Test debut before falling away, was included in the Board President's line-up.

The search for openers continues, with five specialist ones in the two squads, apart from Virender Sehwag, who has evinced an interest to bat in the middle order in Tests. Sanjay Bangar does not feature in either squad, suggesting that he is a certainty for the Test series against New Zealand.

Board President's squad
Akash Chopra, SS Das, Wasim Jaffer, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag (capt), S Sriram, Ajay Ratra (wk), Ramesh Powar, Amit Mishra, Amit Bhandari, Trivedi, Tinu Yohannan, Amit Uniyal.

India A squad
S Ramesh, Akash Chopra, Connor Williams, Mohammad Kaif (capt), Hemang Badani, Mithun Manhas, Rohan Gavaskar, Abhijit Kale, Deep Dasgupta (wk), Murali Kartik, Sarandeep Singh, Sri Shanth, Munaf Patel, RP Singh.