The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sehwag, Zaheer to be rested
- 1st ODI
- Kartik, Sharma in toss-up; Sriram is back

Calcutta: All the heavies featured in the two-match Test series, which ended in jumbo wins for Team India, but experimenting and offering exposure will be on view in the three ODIs.

Towards that end, regulars Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan are being 'rested' in the opening game, in Chittagong, on Thursday. In any case, veterans Anil Kumble and V.V.S. Laxman aren't in the squad.

'We've taken a conscious decision to rotate... Idea being that all 15 get to play at least one match,' captain Sourav Ganguly told The Telegraph, when contacted at the team hotel (Agrabad) late on Wednesday.

The thinktank has decided to cap wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and, possibly, mediumpacer Joginder Sharma. Fielding Dhoni means the seven-batsman formula has, for now, been given a break.

Twenty-three-year-old Dhoni is, of course, going to create history by becoming the first from Jharkhand to get the India cap. Sharma, 21, is from Haryana.

Dhoni, incidentally, may also be used as pinch-hitter. The batting order hadn't been decided till late on Wednesday, but it's almost confirmed that Sourav will open with Sachin Tendulkar.

With two probably making their debut, Dinesh Mongia's one-day comeback has to wait ' perhaps, even Murali Kartik's. Allrounder Sridharan Sriram, though, is going to play his first ODI after four years.

Significantly, the 11 could have just one specialist spinner in offie Harbhajan Singh, who has been in the news for not quite the best reasons.

The second spinner's responsibility, then, will rest on Sachin's shoulders. Yuvraj Singh and Sriram are going to be around too. The script will be different if Sourav and coach John Wright decide to include Kartik.

Should Sharma be capped, the other new ball bowlers are going to be spearhead Irfan Pathan ' MoS in the Tests ' and the seasoned Ajit Agarkar. It's to be seen whether the latter gets a bigger role.

Indian XI: Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Sridharan Sriram, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik/Joginder Sharma.

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