The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Laxman likely to return
- ODI squad - Rohan Gavaskar is dark horse

Chandigarh: V.V.S.Laxman, who had no role in Team India’s last two one-day commitments, is tipped to make a return during the October 23-November 18 tri-series at home where world champions Australia and New Zealand are the overseas sides.

The national selectors, with Syed Kirmani in the chair, are scheduled to meet on Thursday — in all probability after stumps on Day-I of the second (and final) Test versus New Zealand, in neighbouring Mohali. They will be naming XIV for the first three matches, in Chennai (New Zealand), Gwalior (Australia) and Mumbai (Australia).

The squad for the last three (league) games, in Cuttack (New Zealand), Bangalore (Australia) and Hyderabad (New Zealand) will be chosen at a later date.

As of Wednesday evening, regular captain Sourav Ganguly will be picked. However, if he doesn’t recover in time for the first match, on October 23, his place could be taken by Hemang Badani. Assuming, of course, that the latter himself is fit.

Laxman, it may be recalled, was dropped for the World Cup (in February-March) and wasn’t available for the Dhaka tri-series — owing to a back injury on the A tour of the West Indies — immediately after that tournament.

“Besides looking in good nick, Laxman has got runs against Australia. It’s logical, therefore, that he makes the XIV,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph.

Laxman is expected to take Dinesh Mongia’s place.

Unless there’s a rethink, Murali Kartik is also favoured to stage a comeback. Out of the frame, as of now, is Sanjay Bangar while Ashish Nehra still hasn’t recovered from surgery.

Incidentally, with Rahul Dravid indicating he would be happier just concentrating in front of the wickets, there’s a move to have Parthiv Patel in the squad. Only, it’s unclear whether that will actually come about.

The dark horses, so to say, are Rohan Gavaskar and Sridharan Sriram.

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