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Last Updated: May 20, 2007 - 10:48:48 AM
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Sachin, Ganguly 'rested' for ODIs, Sehwag for Tests
Apr 20, 2007 - 9:59:09 PM
May 18-22: 1st Test, Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium, Chittagong

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[RxPG] Mumbai, April 20 - Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were Friday 'rested', Virender Sehwag was retained and a few youngsters were picked in the 15-member Indian one-day and Tests squads for the Bangladesh tour next month following the World Cup disaster.

Tendulkar and Ganguly were, however, picked for the two-match Test series while Sehwag was dropped, Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah announced here after a selection committee meeting.

Six players from the World Cup ODI squad were missing -- Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan and Anil Kumble -- but most of the players who played India's previous Test match on the tour of South Africa this year have retained their places. Kumble has since retired from ODIs.

Agarkar, Harbhajan and Pathan have been ignored from both teams, to be led by Rahul Dravid, while Mohammed Kaif, who was expected to be selected after being dropped for the World Cup, continues to remain out of favour.

The selection, ironically, followed what former India coach Greg Chappell has been rooting for - youth. While the present selection committee and many experts were against the youth when Chappell was round, but now they all seem to have taken the point well.

This is India's first series since crashing out in the first round of the World Cup in the West Indies. After the debacle, Dravid was retained captain April 7. The same day the working committee of the board had asked the selectors to pick a predominantly young team for Bangladesh.

'We thought we could get youngsters. We thought we could try players who have done well in first-class cricket. This was the only opportunity we have to see and assess their talent,' chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar told reporters after the prolonged meeting.

Promising Bengal batsman Manoj Tiwary and Piyush Chawla, who has played one Test, are the new faces for the three ODIs, while Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Mongia, Rudra Pratap Singh and Ramesh Powar have staged comebacks.

No vice-captain was announced for both teams. But Vengsarkar said that cricket manager Ravi Shastri, who has replaced former coach Greg Chappell, and Dravid will pick the vice-captain - an unprecedented and surprising move.

On the panel's decision to rest Tendulkar and Ganguly, who has done reasonably well since staging a comeback on the South African tour last year, Vengsarkar said they would come back as a lot of cricket is to be played.

'India are playing 45 ODIs this year. It will be tough [for all players] to play all the matches. They understand that. Everybody will be rested [by turn],' he said.

Sehwag, who was the best Indian batsman at the World Cup, was ironically dropped for the Test matches, in which he had performed better overall than ODIs. His place seems to have been grabbed by his Delhi mate Gautam Gambhir. Wasim Jaffer is the other Test opener.

Off-spinner Ramesh Powar has replaced Harbhajan Singh in both teams while pacer Vikram Raj Vir Singh has come in place of Pathan, who has been omitted from both teams. Pathan was not given a single match in the World Cup.

While the axing of Pathan, who was the man of the Test series on the previous tour of Bangladesh, and Harbhajan could have been on the cards, the selection of left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar, 27, has come as a surprise.

Baroda's Pawar, picked in the Test squad, has neither played Test cricket nor ODIs. His selection means Murali Kartik continues to be ignored.

Another played who continues to remain out of favour is left-handed batsman Suresh Raina, who was also dropped from the World Cup.

The team will have a five-day preparatory camp in Kolkata before leaving for Bangladesh May 7.

Shah also said that five youngsters players were selected for the benefit of the selectors to observe them during for camp. The players are: Pankaj Singh -, Ranadeb Bose -, Ishant Sharma -, Pragyan Ojha - and V. Yo Mahesh -.

India will play three One-day Internationals starting May 10 in Mirpur. They will be followed by two Test matches.


One-day Internationals: Rahul Dravid -, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni -, Dinesh Kaarthick, Manoj Tiwari, Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar and Dinesh Mongia. Cricket manager: Ravi Shastri

Test matches: Rahul Dravid -, Wasim Jaffer, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni -, Dinesh Kaarthick, Sreesanth, Zaheer Khan, Vikram Raj Vir Singh, Munaf Patel, Anil Kumble, Ramesh Powar and Rajesh Pawar. Cricket manager: Ravi Shastri


May 10: 1st ODI, Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

May 12: 2nd ODI, Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

May 15: 3rd ODI, Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium, Chittagong

May 18-22: 1st Test, Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium, Chittagong

May 25-29: 2nd Test, Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

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