The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gambhir, Salvi await big day

Calcutta: For Gautam Gambhir, his upcoming international debut in Dhaka will be a thrilling experience. But more than this, it is going to be a dream-come-true feeling to play under his idol’s captaincy.

“Sourav Ganguly is my idol. If I get a chance to open with him, it’s going to be a dream come true,” the left-handed opener of Delhi said as he and his teammates checked into a city hotel Tuesday evening before leaving for Bangladesh to play a tri-series.

For medium pacer Avishkar Salvi, another debutant, the April 11-20 tri-series in Dhaka is an occasion to be explored to the fullest. “It’s always nice but tough to be part of the Indian team. It’s a good opportunity and I’ll try to make a mark there,” Salvi, who hogged the limelight during India A’s recently-concluded tour of the West Indies by claiming 29 wickets in seven matches.

“Wickets over there (West Indies) were batsmen-friendly and I also expect the same in Dhaka. But it will not be big problem as determination and line and length are the key to a bowler’s success,” remarked the lanky Mumbai bowler.

“I’ll go to Dhaka with a positive attitude and self-belief. It helped me in the West Indies. I hope it will help me in Dhaka too,” Salvi noted.

Stand-in coach Ashok Malhotra later came at the hotel and had a round of talk with his boys. He showered praises on both Gambhir and Salvi, apart from another debutant Abhijit Kale. “This team is new and some of them played quite well in the West Indies. I’m hopeful about them,” he said.

Kale attributed his inclusion in the national team to his consistent performance. “It’s a fruit of my good and consistent performance over the past couple of years. Though we had played four-dayers in the West Indies, I’ll try my level best to get adjusted to the one-day fold,” he maintained.

The 15-member squad arrived in the city in three phases. Vice-captain Virender Sehwag reached earlier in a separate flight from Chennai. Captain Sourav Ganguly will join the squad on Wednesday morning, before their departure for the tri-series.

India will play hosts Bangladesh in the opening match on Friday.

Leipus too unavailable

Meanwhile, Andrew Leipus will not be travelling to Dhaka because he had to return to Johannesburg to be with his wife, who had an accident.

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