The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Not sure when I’ll be out: Sourav
- Badani replaces Team India captain for first two tri-series matches

Chandigarh: The national selectors have replaced regular Team India captain Sourav Ganguly with Hemang Badani for the first two tri-series matches only — on October 23 and 26 — but it’s quite likely that Sourav will have a longer lay-off. Indeed, it will be a surprise if he makes a quick return after two surgeries inside five days.

The two games are in Chennai (versus New Zealand) and Gwalior (against Australia). Thereafter, four league matches remain, not to speak of the November 18 final — assuming India get there.

“I’m still in considerable pain... So much so that the daily dressings are being done after I’ve been put on anaesthesia... I’ll not be able to take it otherwise,” Sourav told The Telegraph, when contacted (on the cell) in Calcutta’s Belle Vue on Monday evening.

He added: “In fact, at this point in time, I can’t put a date as to when I’ll be discharged... The doctors will probably be better placed to give an idea after a few more dressings...” In any case, the dressings will have to be done for quite some time.

Initially, Sourav was to have been discharged on Monday itself.

Sourav, it may be recalled, underwent an operation on Saturday morning, less than five days after surgery at the Fortis Hospital in Mohali. The operation was conducted in the same area — left (upper) thigh.

Meanwhile, if Yuvraj Singh benefitted by Sourav’s absence in the Mohali Test, Badani is the ODIs’ beneficiary. And, the circumstances notwithstanding, he is keen to “make an impression” after being in the wilderness for 20 months — his last India appearance was during the Mumbai ODI versus Nasser Hussain’s England.

Speaking exclusively from his Chennai residence, Badani said: “Frankly, it’s such a relief... Now, it’s in my hands to make the most of whatever opportunities again come my way... Will I be under more pressure' Don’t think so... If I make the XI, I’ll be playing on my home ground (Chepauk)... Surely, that will make a difference...”

Badani did well on this summer’s A tour of England and, then, was among the runs in the Challenger. Of course, he came into the picture strongly after a statement-making 127 (for India A, against New Zealand) in Rajkot.

That innings will always be special as he got the runs with a fracture above the right wrist — thanks to Darryl Tuffey. “I proved a point,” Badani had maintained after that knock. He actually did.

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