The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dravid may again have double role
- Sourav keen to open, but won't mind if a 'collective decision' favours him at No. 3

Calcutta: Thanks to the air tickets' fiasco, which ensured many players (and coach John Wright) couldn't arrive in time for Thursday afternoon's workout, the Team India composition for Saturday's ODI versus Pakistan remains unclear.

However, The Telegraph's sources indicated captain Sourav Ganguly may again open (this time with Sachin Tendulkar) and vice-captain Rahul Dravid could continue playing a double role.

It's a one-off game and, so, looking to the future can't be the driving force behind selecting the XI. Surely, that can wait and, so, Dravid may feature both behind and in front of the wickets.

The last ODI ' incidentally, against Pakistan in Birmingham ' had seen Sourav open with Virender Sehwag. The big gloves, of course, were then worn by Dravid and Dinesh Karthik sat in the dressing room.

Sourav, one learns, is keen to open but actually won't mind if a 'collective decision' favours his batting at No.3, with the opening honours going to Sachin and Sehwag.

The Platinum Jubilee ODI, by the way, will be Sachin's limited overs' comeback. His last match was the August 1 Asia Cup final in Colombo.

Significantly, the dew factor has added to the uncertainty over the XI. Sourav made an 'assessment' in the evening and, now, Wright is expected to do that on Friday.

It's quite likely that three mediumpacers ' in all probability Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar ' are going to be preferred. In that eventuality, only one specialist spinner (Anil Kumble/Harbhajan Singh) will play.

That's going to be a tough call.

Meanwhile, it's unclear whether Sourav will undergo a formal fitness test during Friday morning's workout. The test has already seen two postponements.

'I'm going to take a decision after speaking to Sourav and the doctors who have treated him in the city,' informed Team India physio Andrew Leipus, who too landed late on Thursday.

Sourav did play a four-day Ranji game, which finished on Wednesday, but Leipus probably wants to be 200 per cent sure that the captain won't have another breakdown.

Given the unnecessary controversy over Sourav's last-minute pull out in Nagpur (third Test versus Australia), Leipus' cautious approach is understandable.

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