The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Srinath may be required
- Ashish Nehra injury may pave way for speedster’s return

Colombo: Ashish Nehra has been ruled out of the final of the ICC Champions Trophy. The left-arm pacer split the webbing of his finger during Wednesday’s semi-final while trying to run Herschelle Gibbs out.

According to skipper Sourav Ganguly, the thinktank will speak to the national selectors on Thursday night and seek the services of Jawagal Srinath for the final.

Srinath had retired from Test cricket after the West Indies series to concentrate on one-dayers. He has not donned the national colours since but has been playing in the County circuit to keep fit.

If available, Srinath will lend the much-needed balance to the Indian pace attack ahead of the World Cup. Sourav has already sorted out his plans for the quadrennial showpiece with the Bangalore pacer in mind.

“It doesn’t matter where Srinath is at the moment. We want him and there’s still two days to go for the final,” Sourav told The Telegraph.

“Nehra needed five stitches after splitting the webbing between the middle and ring fingers of his left hand,” physio Andrew Leipus said.

Meanwhile, the Indians celebrated their dramatic 10-run victory over South Africa at the sports bar of the Taj Samudra till the wee-hours of Thursday morning. The team did not practise on Thursday except for a one-hour stint at the hotel pool in the evening.

Incidentally, Sachin Tendulkar had a guest in Viv Richards this afternoon. The West Indian legend had a word of encouragement for the Little Master and also spoke to Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh.

Amid the euphoria, the team has already started thinking about their opponents in the final. “It doesn’t matter who the opponents will be. Basically it will be a question of our performing to the best of our abilities,” the Indian skipper added.

Anil Kumble’s bowling and the Indians’ inability to get the scoreboard ticking during the middle overs has also come under focus. Kumble has been guilty of giving away too many short deliveries and sticking to a line outside leg stump, making the batsman’s task easier.

While the leg spinner’s bowling will be dealt with at the team meeting, the failure to get the singles is another cause for concern. “The South Africans bowled and fielded brilliantly,” was Sourav’s explanation.

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