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Saturday, Nov 27, 2021
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Pak Tour

Powar Named To ODI Squad

The Mumbai off-spinner reaps the reward for a series of excellent displays with bat and ball in the domestic circuit

Powar Named To ODI Squad
Powar Named To ODI Squad
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Mumbai off-spinner Ramesh Powar was a surprise inclusion today in the 15-member Indian one-day squad for this month's Pakistan tour which will be missed by two leading bowlers, Anil Kumble and Ajit Agarkar, who are on the injured list.

The 25-year-old Powar, who has an outstanding performance in the domestic circuit, comes into the squad in place of injured offie Harbhajan Singh.

Left-arm speedsters Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, who were fighting against time to recover full fitness, were included in the team announced by the board's selection committee chairman S.K. Nair after a marathon four-hour meeting in Kolkata.

However, Nair said, Nehra's inclusion was subject to fitness which he must prove in the Duleep Trophy final in Mohali starting on March 4.

The Indian team, scheduled to play five one-dayers followed by three Tests, will leave for Pakistan on March 10.

Nair said the Test team would be announced on March 22.

Team: Saurav Ganguly (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mohd Kaif, Hemang Badani, Parthiv Patel, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Laxmipathy Balaji, Murali Kartik, Ramesh Powar, Ashish Nehra.

Nair said Kumble and Agarkar were not considered as they were ruled unfit "as per the medical report received by the committee this morning".

The duo, however, would be considered for the Test series subject to their achieving fitness by March 22.

Nair said the selectors settled for Powar after taking into account his bowling and batting prowess.

"Although a couple of other names like Kulamani Parida and Sarandeep Singh were considered, the scales tilted in favour of Powar as he is an off-spinner who can bat," he said.

The team would also see the comeback of one-day specialist Mohammad Kaif who had missed the Australian series because of an injury.

Rohan Gavaskar, Sanjay Bangar and paceman Amit Bhandari, part of the one-day squad in Australia, were dropped but the selectors reposed faith in young wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.

Pacemen Irfan Pathan and Laxmipathy Balaji expectedly retained their places after their good showing in Australia.

Left-arm spinner Murali Kartik will shoulder the spin responsibility along with the uncapped Powar who enjoys a good first-class record.

Powar has not only taken 111 wickets in 39 matches so far but has also proved useful with the bat scoring 1622 runs at an average of 37.72. He has four centuries and nine half-centuries to his credit.

The selection committee meeting was also attended by Ganguly and coach John Wright.

Nair said the board had also received the medical report of Harbhajan - who had missed the major part of the Test and the entire tri-series in Australia following a niggling finger injury - and decided not to consider him.

When asked whether there was any difference of opinion among selectors which delayed the announcement of the team, Nair said "Delay does not mean a difference of opinion. Actually everybody was expressing their opinion and the squad was finalised only after considering all the opinion."

Interestingly, the selectors had a half-hour interaction with BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya before the start of the meeting and after nearly three-and-half hours of deliberations, Kirti Azad - the selector from North Zone - rushed out to speak to Dalmiya along with Nair.

Nair also said that the five-member selection panel had decided to appoint the captain on a series to series basis henceforth.

"May be later, we may even consider appointing captains for a longer tenure," the BCCI secretary said.

Nair said the BCCI would write to the convenor of the North Zone selection committee to include Nehra in the Duleep Trophy match as it was crucial that the bowler proved his fitness.

"Although he is not in the squad, the BCCI will write to the convenor of North Zone and the chairman of the North Zone selection committee to include Nehra in the team so as to ensure his match fitness," he said.

PTI

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