India's prospects in the tri-nation one-day series in Sri Lanka suffered a blow as master batsman Sachin Tendulkar will miss most of it due to a foot injury, announced national selectors who also dropped Dinesh Mongia and Harvinder Singh from the squad that toured Zimbabwe.
"Tendulkar needs two or three weeks rest. He will join the team for the last league match on August 2 against New Zealand," board secretary Jaywant Lele told reporters in Mumbai after the much delayed selection committee meeting today.
Getting a recall for the series, featuring India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, are left hand batsmen Amey Khuresia and Yuvraj Singh and left arm spinner Rahul Sanghvi.
The team: Saurav Ganguly (capt), Rahul Dravid (vice-capt), V.V.S. Laxman, Hemang Badani, Sameer Dighe (wk), Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Ajit Agarkar, Debashish Mohanty, Rahul Sanghvi, Yuvraj Singh and Amey Khuresia.
Selection committee chairman Chandu Borde, who arrived two hours late from Pune due to heavy rains, said "as Tendulkar will not be playing in the first three league matches, we thought Khuresia was the right replacement to open the innings with skipper Saurav Ganguly".
"Khuresia is a dashing batsman and can go over the top in the first 15 overs where there is field restriction. He is also a very good fielder," Borde said.
Asked how left-arm spinner Sanghvi could figure in the 15-man squad in preference to off-spinner Sharandeep Singh of Punjab, Borde said "We needed variations in the spin department and, more over, Harbhajan Singh is bowling well and there was no need to have another offie in the side".
"The wicket in Sri Lanka helps both medium pacers and spinners and hence we have taken Sanghvi, Borde said. Borde said another left-arm spinner Murali Kartik of Railways was also discussed but he had some fitness problems.
Borde, who came to know about Tendulkar's foot injury only during the meeting, said, "about three to four players will be included for the Test series which will start after the triangular tournament".
The Indians are scheduled to play three-Test matches in Sri Lanka.
Lele said the selectors would meet for picking up the Test team either on July 27 or 28 and the venue of the meeting would be decided later.
The Indian team, which would be playing their first match in the triangular series on July 20 against New Zealand, will leave for Colombo on July 15 from Delhi. Coach John Wright will join the team in Delhi.
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