The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sachin ‘not keen’ to be Test captain

Guwahati, Nov. 5: Mahendra Singh Dhoni is set to be India’s next Test captain as Sachin Tendulkar, widely seen as the frontrunner, is apparently “not keen”on doing the job for a third time.

The post has been vacant ever since Rahul Dravid decided not to continue, around seven weeks ago. Sachin had been his deputy during the Test series in Bangladesh and England.

“My understanding is that Sachin is not keen and has made that known to some people.… So, Dhoni looks the favourite.… It’s a plus that he’s already the ODI and Twenty20 captain,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph.

Speaking on Monday evening, the source added: “It’s not just about continuity, but Dhoni has been doing very well in the ODI and Twenty20 format. He was superb today too (in the opening ODI against Pakistan) and deserved the Man of the Match award.”

A confirmation couldn’t be got from Sachin, the sport’s seniormost pro and ambassador No. 1, as calls to his hotel room went unanswered right through the evening.

Sachin’s first innings as captain was from August 1996 to December 1997 and, next, from August 1999 to March 2000. While the selectors removed him the first time, and brought back Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin himself ended innings No. 2.

The selectors — chairman Dilip Vengsarkar, Venkatapathi Raju, Bhupinder Singh, Sanjay Jagdale and Ranjib Biswal — are to meet in Mohali on Thursday, during the second ODI, to decide on the Test captain.

There’s speculation that the appointment could be till the end of the 2007-08 season, next April.

While Dhoni is the new frontrunner, assuming that Sachin actually isn’t keen, there could be some discussion on Anil Kumble’s credentials. Our most successful Test captain, Sourav Ganguly (who isn’t quite the establishment’s blue-eyed boy), may also be talked about.

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