Calcutta: The senior national selectors, who meet in Mumbai on Saturday afternoon, may omit Suresh Raina when they pick the 15 for the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka.
If that does happen, it will be a setback for the 20-year-old as it would strongly indicate he doesn’t exactly fit into Team India’s plans for the World Cup.
For the record, Raina featured in only two of the four ODIs (getting to bat in one) in the just-ended series versus the West Indies.
“Gautam Gambhir is sure to be dropped and it appears Raina and Ramesh Powar are also going to be omitted,” a key source told The Telegraph on Friday evening.
As the squad was 16-strong in Vadodara, during the last ODI (against the West Indies), Dilip Vengsarkar and Co. need to drop three in order to (a) bring back Virender Sehwag and Munaf Patel and (b) keep the number of players down to 15.
Munaf, however, has been “advised” to undergo another MRI on his left ankle. The report will be ready well before the selectors meet at the newly-opened Board HQ at the Wankhede.
Coach Greg Chappell was to have been in Goa on a short vacation, but it’s understood he’s going to attend the meeting. Captain Rahul Dravid too.
While the first ODI is in Calcutta on February 8, the second will be hosted by Rajkot three days later. Goa and Vizag are the venues for the last two.
THE LIKELY 15
Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel.