| Sourav Ganguly at the city airport, on way to Bangalore, on Sunday morning. (PTI)
Calcutta: Barring a rethink, there will be four comebacks when a cornered Team India takes the field in Bangalore on Wednesday, in the tri-series game against Australia. Indeed, captain Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble and Ashish Nehra are the ones going to make a return.
While Sourav and Nehra are coming off surgeries, Sehwag missed the Cuttack match versus New Zealand because of a twisted ankle. Kumble didn’t feature in that game either, on account of his father’s death.
Of course, the captain will undergo a fitness test on Monday afternoon but, given his “amazing” recovery after being operated upon twice, clearing that appears a formality. Ditto for Sehwag, who wasn’t in discomfort during Sunday’s nets at the Chinnaswamy.
“I felt good... In fact, I also bowled,” Sourav told The Telegraph, when contacted in Bangalore on Sunday. The day, after all, marked his first workout with the team in almost a month — the lay-off having been forced by an abscess in the left thigh.
Nehra’s case is different, as he underwent surgery on his right ankle in mid April. He was in the XIV for the last match, but stayed among the reserves. Now, it’s “certain” he will play against the world champions, India’s penultimate league game.
With four comebacks on the cards, the XI is bound to have a ‘new’ look.
Hemang Badani (retained as an additional player) will have to make way for Sourav, while Sehwag is going to be in for Sairaj Bahutule — incidentally, he is already home in Mumbai. Nehra should take Ajit Agarkar’s place, with Kumble replacing Murali Kartik.
Zaheer Khan, one understands, has a chest infection and hasn’t yet reported in Bangalore. If he isn’t available, Agarkar will keep his place and share the new ball with Nehra.
Rahul Dravid, whose tenure as stand-in captain has ended, is going to continue wearing the big gloves.
Meanwhile, according to well-placed sources, veteran Jawagal Srinath is unlikely to make the tour of Australia, scheduled to begin later this month. It won’t surprise if he announces a final good-bye very soon.
Srinath’s India debut was in 1991-92 and, hit by fitness problems, he hasn’t played after this year’s World Cup final.