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Updated: August 15, 2009 20:47 IST

Dravid set for ODI comeback

Special Correspondent
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Comeback man: Rahul Dravid. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
Comeback man: Rahul Dravid. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

The National selection panel will pick teams for the cricket tri-series in Sri Lanka and the ICC Champions Trophy here on Sunday.

The competition in Sri Lanka, featuring the host, India and New Zealand, will be held from September 8 to 14. The Champions Trophy will be staged in South Africa between September 22 and October 5.

Senior batsman Rahul Dravid is expected to stage a comeback into the ODI side. The early-season conditions in South Africa could favour the pacemen and India would require Dravid’s technical expertise at the crucial No. 3 slot.

Some of the younger Indian batsmen were found wanting against well-directed short-pitched bowling by the pacemen in the ICC Twenty20 in England earlier this year and the selectors would be keen to strengthen the top-order.

Ideally, the selectors would want to pick the same squad for the two tournaments but this might not be possible due to issues related to fitness. Recovering from a shoulder injury, Virender Sehwag is a doubtful starter for the tour of Sri Lanka. Can he regain fitness in time for the Champions Trophy?

Maestro Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina, rested for the short tour of the West Indies, should be back in the side. Rohit Sharma, searching for form and consistency in the ODIs, could be stretched to hold his place.

Karthik likely to be retained

Dinesh Karthik, who made an impression with the bat in the West Indies, is likely to be retained. He can also double up as the second wicket-keeper.

India will be without injured left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan in both these competitions. Under the circumstances, Aashish Nehra should be able to retain his place.

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