The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sourav available for Bangalore tie
- tri-series l It’s ‘certain’ that Nehra will make a comeback

Mumbai: Regular Team India captain Sourav Ganguly, recovering from surgery on the left thigh, has informed the Board he will be available from the fifth (and penultimate) league match of the tri-series.

“I’m not going to be fit for the November 6 game in Cuttack (against New Zealand), but I will be ready for the match in Bangalore (versus Australia)... I’d been aiming for that,” Sourav told The Telegraph, when contacted on his cell late on Friday.

He has been out of action after the Motera Test, against New Zealand, and the past few weeks have landed him twice in the operation theatre — in Mohali and Calcutta.

This fitness update means that Sourav’s replacement in the XIV chosen for the first three games, Hemang Badani, will be retained till Cuttack. The national selectors, however, will have to pick two squads, not one — specifically for Cuttack and, then, the last two matches.

Team India’s concluding league game is in Hyderabad, on November 15 (versus New Zealand).

Meanwhile, according to well-placed sources, it’s “certain” that Ashish Nehra will make a comeback. Obviously, Lakshmipathy Balaji will have to make way. Nehra, it may be recalled, hasn’t played after the March 23 World Cup final — reason being surgery on his right ankle over six months ago.

“Nehra is a certainty for Australia. Only, before we pick him for such a major tour, we’ve got to be satisfied that he really is match-fit,” explained one of the sources. Significantly, the left-arm quick is currently training with the Zaheer Khans.

The selectors (Syed Kirmani, Kirti Azad, Pranab Roy, Kiran More and Sanjay Jagdale) aren’t looking at effecting any other change in the Team India XIV.

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