The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nehra to figure in Eden XI
- Possibility of Agarkar being pinch-hitter in ODIs

Calcutta, Oct. 26: Left-armer Ashish Nehra will share the new ball with veteran Jawagal Srinath during the third and final Test against the West Indies, at the Eden, from Wednesday.

India already have an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Srinath’s partner in the first two Tests (Mumbai and Chennai) was Zaheer, who is recuperating from a shin bone injury. In fact, Zaheer may not be available for the seven ODIs (November 6-24) as well.

With The Telegraph’s sources confirming Nehra will partner Srinath, Ajit Agarkar (who replaced Zaheer in the XIV) is going to be in the reserves, with Shiv Sundar Das and rookie Amit Mishra.

However, while Agarkar won’t have a role here, it’s quite likely that he will be projected as pinch-hitter in the ODIs.

Also, there’s a reasonable chance Sanjay Bangar will make the cut.

Indeed, with the World Cup coming closer by the day, captain Sourav Ganguly and coach John Wright can only “experiment” either versus the West Indies or in New Zealand, later this year.

Speaking exclusively this afternoon, Sourav acknowledged “something new” could be attempted, in the up-coming series, but didn’t go into specifics.

Moreover, he added: “At this point, our focus is on making it 3-0 in the Tests… That done, we will look to putting the best foot forward in the ODIs.”

[Incidentally, while Sourav himself has recovered from the injury sustained at the Chepauk, wife Dona and Sana — who is just days away from her first birthday — are both unwell.]

Meanwhile, there’s talk that Sachin Tendulkar may request a break. It’s unlikely, though, that he won’t be fielded in the first few matches.

According to Board secretary S.K. Nair, the XIV for the first three or four games will “most probably” be picked (in Calcutta) on October 31. The squad for the last set of matches will, then, be named at a later date.

The one-day series will begin in Jamshedpur and end in Vijayawada, only days before Sourav and Co. leave for New Zealand.

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