BCCI names probables, defers team announcement

Bangalore Nov. 13. The announcement of the Indian Test squad for the Australian tour has been postponed to November 15. The BCCI secretary, S.K. Nair, announced the deferment in a press conference at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday. The squad was to have been announced on Thursday.

However, the Board released a list of 20 probables from which the team will be selected after the TVS Cup one-day match against New Zealand at Hyderabad on November 15.

The 20-member probables list, besides the regulars, has Sadagopan Ramesh and Deep Dasgupta who are on a comeback trail. Left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan, who spearheaded India under-19's Asia Cup triumph, also figures in the probables list while Sanjay Bangar, Ajay Ratra and Mohammed Kaif are conspicuous by their absence. "The probables are specific to the Test series and there will be a few changes when the team is announced for the one-dayers," Mr. Nair said.

"The selection committee and the team management made a request to the Board to announce the team after the match at Hyderabad. With the crucial game scheduled against New Zealand on November 15, the selection committee and the team management wanted to have a closer look at a few players. But it was decided to select 20 probables so that the travel formalities to Australia can be finalised. The team will leave for Australia on November 21 from Chennai," Mr. Nair said.

The announcement of the India `A' squad scheduled to clash against the visiting Sri Lankan `A' team was also postponed in a bid to avoid speculation.

"The India `A' team announcement scheduled for today will now be done at a later date. The idea was to avoid needless speculation. For instance if a player figures in both the 20-member probables list as well as in the India `A' team then there will presumption that the concerned player may not go to Australia. Anyway there is time for the A series as the first match at Ahmedabad will commence only on November 23," Mr. Nair added.

Earlier, the selection committee, chaired by Syed Kirmani, held a two-hour meeting. Kirti Azad, however, missed the meeting owing to `pressing personal engagements' according to the Board secretary.

"Kirti Azad did convey his views to the chairman (Kirmani) over phone. I also want to mention that the selection committee and the team management represented by John Wright and Sourav Ganguly reviewed the performance of our team in the Test series against New Zealand and in the on going one-day series and all factors have been considered while naming the probables," said Mr. Nair.

Salvi replaces Nehra

Meanwhile, Avishkar Salvi replaced Ashish Nehra in the 15-member Indian team for the TVS Cup one-dayer against Hyderabad on November 15. "Ashish has just come back from an injury and he needs more match practice and if he wants to play a Ranji Trophy match, he will be released from the team. The selection committee and team management wanted to try out Salvi for the one-dayer at Hyderabad," S.K. Nair said.

The probables: Sourav Ganguly, Akash Chopra, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Parthiv Patel, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Avishkar Salvi, Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Anil Kumble, L. Balaji, Sadagopan Ramesh, Yuvraj Singh, Hemang Badani, Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra and Deep Dasgupta.