How young will the 'young team' be?

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  • Published 10.04.07

Calcutta: Poor Suresh Raina is cursing his luck. Instead of looking forward to a recall, he’s giving a post-surgery rehab programme the look-over.

“I’ve recently had an operation on my left leg and it’s unlikely that I’ll be available for Bangladesh,” Raina told The Telegraph.

Speaking from Lucknow on Monday afternoon, the 20-year-old added: “Of course, I’m getting the strength back, but I don’t want to rush things… Koi jaldi nahin dikhana hai…”

Widely seen as former coach Greg Chappell’s blue-eyed boy, Raina wasn’t picked for the World Cup and got injured during the National One-Dayers.

It’s that injury which forced surgery and has almost ruled him out of the May 10-29 tour featuring three ODIs and two Tests.

Raina made his debut during the 2005-06 tri-series in Sri Lanka. He has totalled 612 runs from 36 matches.

Incidentally, it’s not clear whether Dilip Vengsarkar and his colleagues (Venkatapathi Raju, Bhupinder Singh, Sanjay Jagdale and Ranjib Biswal) are going to select one squad or choose separate ones for ODIs and Tests.

As the Board’s working committee has directed the selectors to send a “young team,” there’s speculation on who all will make it.

Equally, who’re the ones going to be rested/dropped.

Apparently, it’s almost certain that Virender Sehwag and Ajit Agarkar won’t be there. Then, Harbhajan Singh is under big pressure. As also Irfan Pathan, who didn’t make the XI in the World Cup.

There are whispers that Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly will be rested for the ODIs. But, right now, it’s nothing more than that.

Ramesh Powar is certain to be brought back, while Dinesh Mongia probably stands a decent chance as newly-appointed cricket manager Ravi Shastri has a high opinion of him.

Mongia is soon going to be 30, though.

Quite a few rookies and young discards (listed in the graphic alongside) should come into he reckon ing.

Bengal’s Manoj Tewari and Ranadeb Bose are among those with a pretty good chance.