Sarandeep, yet to play international cricket, comes in place of Venkatesh Prasad who was in the XIV picked for the one-off Test against Bangladesh which India won by nine wickets.
There was one more change in the squad, Delhi wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya replacing Bengal’s Syed Saba Karim. Dahiya, who played the one-dayers in Nairobi and Sharjah, is yet to play Test cricket.
Announcing the squad, BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele said Sourav was happy with the performance of the three seamers — Jawagal Srinath, Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan — and wanted an off-spinner.
The players will assemble here on Thursday. The new coach, John Wright of New Zealand who is already here, will take charge from that day. Wright replaces Aunshuman Gaekwad.
Four of the five national selectors, chairman Chandu Borde, Madanlal, Ashok Malhotra and Sanjay Jagdale, watched the first two days of the three-day match between Zimbabwe and Board President’s XI in Faridabad before picking the Test squad. The South Zone representative, T.A. Sekar, was not present on the first day because his brother had committed suicide. He joined the selection meeting today.
Lele explained that an off-spinner was needed since there are quite a few left-handers in the Zimbabwe squad. He said that the name of another Punjab off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh, was also discussed. No reason, however, was given for Harbhajan’s omission. It was initially stated that Harbhajan was not among the wickets this season. That, however, is far from the truth as he took four wickets in a Ranji Trophy match against Haryana yesterday.
It was learnt that two factors went against Harbhajan. First, the BCCI is displeased with his abrupt departure from the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and he is being disciplined. Also, his bowling action had come under ICC scrutiny a couple of years ago and the board felt it was time to try out Sarandeep, who has a more classical action.
Dahiya, who made a polished 50 for the Board President’s XI against Zimbabwe yesterday, was an unanimous choice. Dahiya opened the innings and impressed with his ability to handle the new ball. Saba Karim’s unimpressive performance in the Test match against Bangladesh also helped Dahiya’s cause.
Lele announced that the 14-member squad was only for the first Test. The squad for the second Test, beginning in Nagpur on November 25, will be announced later. It was learnt that the selectors will meet on the fourth day of the first Test to pick the squad for the Nagpur Test.
THE SQUADSourav Ganguly (captain), Shiv Sundar Das, Sadagopan Ramesh, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Ajit Agarkar, Jawagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Vijay Dahiya, Sunil Joshi, Murali Karthik and Sarandeep Singh.
As soon as Sourav came onto the VIP exit gate of the Calcutta airport, a horde of over-enthusiastic autograph-seekers flouted security restrictions and homed in on the star.
The show of adulation reached such levels that the media as well as the security personnel had a tough time getting near the star.
The scene was a ghastly reminder of a similar one when the team left the city for Dhaka on November 7. Sourav, who had arrived at the airport separately in his car (and not in the team bus), was virtually manhandled, and it was a miracle that he was not injured.
Today one witnessed similar disorder as securitymen tried to disperse the crowd. Sourav was finally escorted to his car under heavy security. The Prince of Calcutta, basking in the new glory, however, appeared a happy and relieved man. “We knew we would be able to defeat Bangladesh. I’m happy because we got what we needed in the end,” Sourav said before being whisked away. Wicket-keeper Syed Saba Karim also returned with his captain to the city today. There was no greeting waiting for him, though.
Veteran rallyist Mitil Chakraborty and ace navigator Bhavesh Dhabaria adjusted the new feather to their already crowded cap for winning the rally outright in their Esteem. “I am happy that this has all come to such a satisfactory end,” said Mitil. Navigator Bhavesh, known for his cool head, lent his usual smile.
Third finisher Vijay Goenka today said this was his last rally. His retirement comes after nearly two decades of motoring adventure and oodles of trophies.
Goenka’s able navigator Sudeep Gupta, though will carry on, and he is now thinking of who to pair up with. “I’ll need some driver of such calibre,” he said. “I will have to make my choice carefully.”
Mukesh P. Thakker and navigator Rajdip Fadikar, who won the two-wheeler section on their Yamaha RX 135, were ecstatic on the podium. So was Harjeet Singh Dhanjal, rallying for almost as long as Mitil has. Dhanjal and Somdeb Chanda finished fourth on their Suzuki Shogun.
Present, on the dais, among others, were Messrs R.C. Sharma, additional DGP WB, vice-president of the Bengal Motor Sports Club (BMSC), the organisers, Kalyan Bhadra, vice-chairman BMSC, A.K. Sinha, director (finance) IBP Ltd (one of the co-sponsors of the rally), Sanjay Kumar Nigam, regional manager (East) Maruti Udyog and Rajat Majumder, president BMSC.
The all-women’s team of Papiya Mukherjee and Sumona Fadikar won the best women’s team prize. BMSC secretary Kalyan Banerjee said that it was a glitch in the tabulation yesterday that showed the team as having been put out after having missed time controls. “The matter was later rechecked and corrected,” he said. “The team did finish and did pretty well at that.”
THE PRIZE WINNERS
Four-wheelers: 1. Mitil Chakraborty & Bhavesh Dhabaria (Esteem, 73+120); 2. Sanjay Arya & Yogesh Gupta (Esteem, 75+165); 3. Vijay Goenka & Sudeep Gupta (Zen, 103+185); 4. Prasanta Paul & Sumit Mukherjee (Esteem, 218+128); 5. Shalin Wadhwani & Vivek Khemka (Zen, 431+462); 6. Ananda Ghosh & Tamal Sarkar (Safari, 578+452).
Best tuner: Asgar Ali.
Two-wheelers: 1. Mukesh P. Thakker & Rajdip Fadikar (Yamaha RX 135, 431+331); 2. Rana Dey & Joydev Chowdhury (Suzuki Shogun, 558+914); 3. Sutanu Roy & Debashish Ghosh (TVS Shogun, 382+1098); 4. Harjeet Singh Dhanjal & Somdeb Chanda (Suzuki Shogun, 657+1143); 5. Valmiki Biswas & Jayita Basu Sarkar (Yamaha RX 135, 964+1227); 6. Samir Kumar Dey & Somnath Saha (Suzuki Shogun, 869+1643).
Best tuner: Anil Mondol
Sub-jr volleyball squadArnab Ghosh will lead the Bengal boys’ team to the national sub-junior volleyball championships, to be held in Hyderabad from November 20 to 24. Twenty-four participants, a dozen each from boys’ and girls’ sections will represent the state.
BOYS — Arnab Ghosh (capt), Sumit Ghosh, Goutam Mondal, Rabindranath Chatterjee, Rajib Ghosh, Deba Jyoti Hazra, Arghya Seth, Tanay Kolay, Tridib Ghosh, Anirban Saha, Nilayan Nayak and Rajesh Dey
Coach: Bimal Dey.
GIRLS — Thakurmoni Oraon (capt), Rupa Sur, Kaberi Kolay, Nanda Bag, Chaitali Dey, Purnima Sarkar, Sonali Pakhre, Enakshi Ghosh, Sarmistha Santra, Pinki Das, Mousumi Das and Sunita Sardar.
Coach: Swapna Chatterjee.
Tollygunge favouritesTollygunge start favourite in their face-off against George Telegraph in the Super Division League tie (championship round) at Kishore Bharati tomorrow.
Apart from the teams in the opener, six other teams — Mohun Bagan, Wari AC, Kalighat, Barisha Sporting, Tollygunge Agragami and Eastern Railway — are taking part in the tournament.
Defending champions Mohun Bagan face Wari AC on Thursday.
However, Due to the tournament, practice of Bengal Ranji Trophy team at the Eden will be possible only on November 18 before they take on Tripura next day.
Unbeaten in his last five starts, having made his debut on the local track early this year, the Vijay Singh-trainee with Cristopher Alford in the saddle, will be seen in action against a seasoned campaigner and one of last winter’s leading classic contender, Alternator — his ownermate, who is at a weight disadvantage of 10-1/2 kg. The fact that Alternator will partnered by Aslam Kader, no concession may expected from the visiting jockey.
The six-event card is likely see Mr Bombshell entering the winner’s enclosure after his eye-catching performance last week. Harry The Horse may also cash in on his upcountry form in the Ute Handicap. Annalee, Endless Surprise and Ispahan, in the Top Pip Handicap, are out to prove a point.
Read as: Horse number, last four runs, horse name, trainer, jockey, weight & draw:
1st Race at 1.15 pm.Blue Light Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV; 5yo & over—Rt 22-50) — Indian jockeys only
1 0133 Constantine [Karki] Amjad K. 60.0 3
2 4040 Black Mane [Karki] Md Yacoob 59.5 1
3 - - - 2 Mr. Bombshell [Daniel] A. Imran K. 57.0 6
4 0020 Work Order [Mujeeb] Md Islam 54.0 4
5 0024 Floral Path [Bath] S. Shanker 53.5 5
6 0000 Sky Hawk [Mujeeb] Haroon K. 53.5 2
1. Mr. Bombshell (3) 2. Work Order (4) 3. Floral Path (5)
Mr. Bombshell: Narrowly lost to the Colts’ winner, Arezzo. Out to make amends. Work Order: May out-sprint all but Bombshell. Floral Path: May place.
2nd Race at 1.55 pm.Kalied Cup 1,600m (Cl V — Rt. 0-28)
1 2323 Friendly Knight [Jaiswal] N. Bird 60.0 5
2 - - 01 Anntari [Bharath] C. Alford 57.5 2
3 0041 Crest Star [Goenka] Md Yasin 55.0 6
4 - - - 2 The Stud [Rodrigues] N. Connorton 54.0 4
5 - - 02 Prizren [Javed] M. Reuben 48.5 7
6 0302 Ballard Lady [Daniel] A. Imran K. 48.0 1
7 0003 Sapphire And Silk [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 48.0 3
1. Anntari (2) 2. Prizren (5) 3. The Stud (4)
Anntari: Looks improved. May defy the handicap disadvantage. Prizren: At a striking weight. Bears watching. The Stud: Best at the weight but needs an outing.
3rd Race at 2.25 pmTreasure Island Handicap 1,100m (Cl V; 5yo & over. Rt.0-28)-Indian jockeys only
1 0402 Run Ahead [Mujeeb] Md Islam 60.0 4
2 1344 Magic Ring [Karki] Amjad K. 57.0 2
3 0303 Arizona Star [Mujeeb] Sher S. 56.0 1
4 - 000 Tequila Shot [Bath] S. Shanker 55.0 6
5 0410 Art Smart [Karki] Md Yacoob 54.0 3
6 ---- Remember Me [Javed] M. Reuben 51.0 5
1. Remember Me (6) 2. Tequila Shot (4) 3. Run Ahead (1)
Remember Me: Lost to Alyssum in his only career-start early in the year. Looking fit. Tequila Shot: Something brewing with him. Keep an eye. Run Ahead: May place.
4th Race at 3.00 pm.Tom Pip Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV—Rt. 22-50)
1 3210 Silver Raising [Javed] S. Salam 60.0 5
2 - - 21 Ispahan[Stephens] N. Connorton 60.0 6
3 -000 Falconaire [R. Alford] P. Alford 54.5 3
4 - 001 Ghunghat [Goenka] S. Nasruddin 53.5 1
5 - - 13 Endless Surprise [Daniel] A. P. Singh 53.5 8
6 - 044 Persuasion [Bharath] S. Rabani 52.5 4
7 - - - 1 Annalee [Vijay] C. Alford 52.0 7
8 0210 Flying Power [Karki] Md Yacoob 51.0 2
1. Annalee (7) 2. Endless Surprise (5) 3. Ispahan (2)
Annalee: A winner of two races in as many starts, yet lightly rated at 32. Endless Surprise: Enjoys a similar benefit at 35 points. Ispahan: Rated at 48 for her solitary Mysore-victory. Unlikely to win unless the two favourites do an Arezzo.
5th Race at 3.30 pm.Mayfowl Cup 1,400m (Cl I—Rt. 88 & over)— Indian jockeys only
1 ---- Freedom Dancer [Vijay] Surender S. 62.0 4
2 ---- Alternator [Bharath] A. Kader 61.0 7
3 -013 Mystic Hill [Vijay] Md Amil 56.0 2
4 - - 33 Tanganyika [Karki] M. Reuben 53.5 1
5 - 020 Kaizen [Bharath] S. Rabani 53.0 3
6 - - - 0 Illustrioust Reign [Daniel] A. Imran K. 53.0 5
7 - 111 Alyssum [Vijay] C. Alford 50.5 6
1. Alyssum (7) 2. Alternator (2) 3. Illustrious Reign (6)
Alyssum: Going from strength to strength. May notch-up his double hattrick of wins, though up against a stiff opposition. Alternator: One of the best from last winter’s lot. Has summered well in Bangalore. Illustrious Reign: May place.
6th Race at 4.05 pm.Ute Handicap 1,600m (Cl III & IV — Rt. 22-72)
1 0304 Raaz [Javed] S. Salam 60.0 5
2 - - - 2 Classic Pursuit [Bharath] Md Amil 59.5 7
3 - - 04 Aragrove[Daniel] A. Imran K. 59.5 4
4 - 132 Sterling Prospect [Vijay] C. Alford 59.0 8
5 - 131 Analyzer [Daniel] A. P. Singh 58.5 6
6 - 344 Too Soon To Tell [Javed] M. Reuben 52.5 9
7 3222 Charlene [Bharath] Md Islam 52.0 2
8 1000 Super Smile [Bharath] S. Rabani 51.5 3
9 - - 21 Harry The Horse [Stephens] N. Connorton 51.5 1
1. Harry The Horse (9) 2. Charlene (7) 3. Sterling Prospect (4)
Harry The Horse: A winner of an 1,800m race in Mysore after losing over a mile by a whisker. May reproduce his current form. Charlene: Has been knocking at the door. Sterling Prospect: A place prospect. Too Soon To Tell: May place.
Day’s Best: Mr. Bombshell
Double: Harry The Horse & Alyssum
600m: Gul (Yasin) in 42s; (400m) 28s. Armila (Locke) in 40s; (400m) 26s. Added Asset (Brij) in 42s; (400m) 28s.
On Monday, outer sand track
800m: Endless Surprise (Rb) in 55s; (400m) 25 3/5s. Fit. Harry The Horse (Rutherford) in 58s; (400m) 28s. Easy. Ispahan (Rutherford) in 1-1s; (400m) 29s. Easy. Go India Go (Rb) in 56s; (400m) 27s.
1,200m: Illustrious Reign (A. Imran) in 1-30s; (400m) 27s. Fit. Scavenger’s Son (Tamang) in 1-25s; (400m) 28s.
800m: Aragrove (A. Imran) in 52s; (400m) 24s. Fit. Beau Bruno (A. Imran) in 52s; (400m) 24s. Good. Ballard Lady (A. Imran) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Double Cross (Haroon), Sky Hawk (Yacoob) and Altriuism (Rb) in 57s; (400m) 29s.They were level.No Surrender (Rb) in 59s; (400m) 29s.
On Sunday, outer Sand track
1,600m: Arendal (A. P. Singh) and Affliction (C. Alford) in 2-5s; (400m) 28s. Former better.
1,200m: Annatto (A. P. Singh) and Sterling Prospect (C. Alford) in 1-29s; (400m) 30s. Former better. Jayaashva (Rb) in 1-36s; (400m) 30s.800m: Annalee (C. Alford) and Auctioneer (A. P. Singh) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Former far better. Alyssum (C. Alford) and Anolini (A. P. Singh) in 55; (400m) 27s. Both level. Alembic (C. Alford) and Freedom Dancer (A. P. Singh) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Both level. Mystic Hill (A. P. Singh) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Fit.
800m: Ballard Lady (Rb) in 56s; 26s.