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India set to blood Abhijit Kale
- Tri-series | Bangla only hope to 'improve'
Sehwag: Has to curb zest

Calcutta: Sanjay Bangar, who went through the entire World Cup as a passenger, is finally getting a game: He will be in the India XI which takes on Bangladesh in the (TVS Cup) tri-series match Wednesday.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, there will be four changes from the XI which routed South Africa the other evening. Captain Sourav Ganguly and Zaheer Khan aren’t fit, while Mohammed Kaif is being rested. Then, either Ajit Agarkar or Harbhajan Singh will be omitted.

The vacancies will go to Bangar, Avishkar Salvi, Abhijit Kale and Sarandeep Singh.

Like Bangar, Sarandeep will be making a comeback. As for Kale, India’s penultimate league match will be his first ODI. Salvi, of course, will be back after just one game.

The Agarkar/Harbhajan decision will, by the way, be made only shortly before the toss. Meanwhile, one understands Parthiv Patel will bat at No. 3 — the captain’s position.

PTI adds from Dhaka: Sourav’s absence in the match means Virender Sehwag will be looking to make his first outing as captain of India. However, the dashing batsman needs to set his priorities right. He has often been guilty of throwing away his wicket after getting the starts and that has peeved Sourav who made his displeasure known in public during the match South Africa.

Opener Gautam Gambhir, who has failed in both the innings so far, will be given another chance to prove his worth and the stylish Delhi batsman will be eager to grab the opportunity with both hands. Young Patel, who was in the team for the World Cup, did not have much to do since vice-captain Rahul Dravid was donning the additional role of wicketkeeping in the mega event.

But with Dravid out of the tournament here due to injury, the 18-year old will now get the opportunity to showcase his batting talent.

Patel, the lone wicketkeeper in the 15-member squad, was quite impressive behind the stumps in the first two matches of the series. He scored four runs in India’s opener and did not get a chance to bat in India’s second match.

Nothing seemed to have gone right for the hosts, but captain Khaled Mahmud will be quite content if his boys put up a fight against the mighty Indians who seemed to have maintained their World Cup momentum. “We put up a much improved performance against the South Africans in the last match. We have to keep improving to put the Indians under some pressure”, Mahmud said.

The hosts are unlikely to make any changes to the team that played against South Africa.

The Indians were scheduled to practise at the Bangabandhu Stadium in the morning but the heavy thunderstorm just after the South Africa-Bangladesh match had left the ground completely soggy and the Indians had to abandon their training plans.

TEAMS

India: Virender Sehwag (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Parthiv Patel, Abhijit Kale, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Mongia, Sanjay Bangar, Ajit Agarkar/Harbhajan Singh, Sarandeep Singh, Amit Mishra, Avishkar Salvi.

Bangladesh: (from) Khaled Mahmud (captain), Mohammed Ashraful, Javed Omar, Habibul Bashar, Sanwar Hossain, Alok Kapali, Akram Khan, Khaled Mashud, Mohammed Rafique, Tapash Baisya, Tarek Aziz Khan, Mehraab Hossain, Tushar Imran, Manjurul Islam.

Umpires: Billy Bowden (NZ) and Mahbub Rahman (Ban). Third umpire: Akhraruddin (Ban). Match Referee: Clive Lloyd (WI).

Harbhajan not going to Lancs

According to reports emanating from the County, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh will not play for Lancashire this season. Earlier reports had suggested that Harbhajan’s arrival in the County on April 28 as its second overseas player, had been put on hold following a finger injury.

Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar will leave for the United States on April 26 to undergo a minor operation on a finger of his left hand. He will be there for four weeks. Tendulkar, who hurt his finger during the New Zealand tour and skipped the on-going triangular series in Dhaka, was experiencing a little pain and decided to have a minor operation, BCCI secretary S.K. Nair said from Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

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