Panel wants to observe Dhoni for longer October 26, 2007

Indian selectors delay Test-captaincy decision



Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are in the running for the Test captaincy © Getty Images

India's national selectors have deferred the appointment of a Test captain, which was scheduled to happen during the selection committee meeting in Ahmedabad on Saturday. The focus of the meeting will now be on the squad for the first two ODIs of the series against Pakistan beginning on November 5.

Bhupinder Singh, the North Zone selector, said that the selection panel wanted to observe Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy for a while longer before taking a decision on the Test captaincy.

"We had originally decided to watch Dhoni for 12 games and it's only five games now so we will have to wait," Bhupinder told Cricinfo. He, without confirming, indicated that the announcement could happen at the next selection meeting on November 8 in Mohali, when the squad for the rest of the ODI series against Pakistan would be announced.

Dhoni, who led India to the World Twenty20 title in his first assignment as captain, is one of two chief contenders for the Test captaincy along with Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar is also widely tipped for the job after two earlier stints during which he led India in 25 Tests.

With India's search for a full-time coach producing no results - and the coach selection committee only meeting on November 3 - former India and Mumbai opener Lalchand Rajput is likely to be retained as the interim cricket manager for the home series against Pakistan. The announcement is expected to be made during the selection meeting on Saturday.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo