The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Ganguly back in team, VVS Laxman vice-captain
Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman

New Delhi, Nov 30 (PTI): After nearly a year, Sourav Ganguly today made a dramatic comeback to the Indian test team in the wake of the side's disastrous performance in South Africa and calls for bringing back experienced players.

The selectors also dropped Mohammad Kaif and Suresh Raina from the squad and removed out of form Virender Sehwag from vice-captaincy, which now goes to VVS Laxman.

The decision to recall Ganguly was taken by the national selectors, who, significantly, met BCCI President Sharad Pawar at his residence here before their meeting to select the 16-member squad for the three-Test series against South Africa beginning on December 15.

The Bengal left-hander, who has had reasonable success in domestic matches, was widely speculated to make it to the team after the relatively inexperienced Indian side struggled on fast-paced South African tracks to suffer one humiliating defeat after another.

Ganguly comes in the place of an injured Yuvraj Singh in the middle order while Zaheer Khan was rewarded for his show in the One-Dayers with a Test berth. Delhi opener Gautam Gambhir was also finally rewarded for his consistency in domestic circuit with a place in the 16, announced by BCCI secretary and selection committee convenor Niranjan Shah at a press conference here.

Asked about the inclusion of Ganguly, chairman of selection committee Dilip Vengsarkar said it was felt that there was a need to have experienced players in the squad.

“If you look at the performances in South Africa, our batting has failed. We need experienced players like Laxman and Ganguly,” the former Indian captain said.

Vengsarkar said the selectors wanted to send the message that nobody could take their place in the team for granted through their decision to strip Sehwag of vice-captaincy.

Team: Rahul Dravid (capt), Wasim Jaffer, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), VVS Laxman (vice-capt), Dinesh Kaarthick, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan, VRV Singh, Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth.

Email This Page