The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sourav may skip tie
- Sehwag to step in as captain against Bangladesh

Dhaka: Indian captain Sourav Ganguly is likely to skip Wednesday’s tri-series match against Bangladesh to rest his troubled back. In the event of Sourav opting out, Virender Sehwag, the stand-in vice-captain in the absence of Rahul Dravid, will get the honour of leading the team for the first time in his blossoming career.

With India virtually assured of a place in Sunday’s final, having won both their matches so far, Sourav does not want to take the risk of aggravating the injury and has expressed his desire to be rested, team sources said.

Left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan, who suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday’s match against South Africa, may also be rested for the remaining two preliminary round matches.

The team management is quite happy with the performance of the other two pace bowlers — Ajit Agarkar and newcomer Avishkar Salvi — and would not like to field Zaheer in unimportant matches.

Even before the tournament, Sourav had indicated that he would use the meet to try out all the newcomers. The skipper kept his word and three players have already made their debut.

While Salvi and Delhi opener Gautam Gambhir made their debut against Bangladesh, leg spinner Amit Mishra got his chance to play his first one-dayer against South Africa on Sunday.

Meanwhile, assistant coach Ashok Malhotra thinks Sourav’s inspirational leadership is what is leading the youngsters to make a habit of contributing match-winning performances.

Referring to the tri-series here, Malhotra said the youngsters have shown their determination despite playing in difficult conditions and they have not given anything away.

Malhotra is all praise of Sourav and compliments him for the success of youngsters. “All the credit should go to Sourav as he has really worked hard with the boys. He has given them the confidence and backed them to the hilt,” said Malhotra.

“The team has gelled well under Sourav and it is a good sign for Indian cricket,” said the former international.

“There are a lot of talented cricketers in the country and it is good that some of them have proved their worth. It is important to try out these youngsters as we need the back-up players,” Malhotra said. (PTI)

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