Mumbai: Hrishikesh Kanitkar who is presently serving as the captain for the India ''A'' team in West Indies has been chosen as the replacement for the injured Ajay Jadeja for the senior Indian team's Australian tour. Meanwhile, Sitanshu Kotak, the Saurashtra southpaw has been chosen as Kanitkar's standby for the West Indies tour subject to the tour management's approval.
The chairman of the selection committee Chandu Borde said that Kanitkar's choice was a collective decision by the selectors and the coach Kapil Dev along with Captain Sachin Tendulkar. Borde said, ''Other than Kanitkar, the names of Azharuddin, Jacob Martin and Nayan Mongia were discussed, but we took a collective decision to select Kanitkar.
''He said the youngster has been performing satisfactorily in the recent past and it has been decided to give Kanitkar a chance for his good performances. On the performance of M S K Prasad, he said that they were trying him out. "He has performed satisfactorily and you have to give more opportunities to these youngsters," he added.
On Azharuddin, Borde said, ''he is definitely a good player but looking at the satisfactory performances of the youngsters we decided to choose Hrishikesh Kanitkar. The need for a replacement for Jadeja arose when he suffered a shoulder injury and had to pull out of the final one-dayer against the New Zealanders in Delhi. The board then decided to send Jadeja's medical reports to South African specialist Dr Mark Fergusson.
Jadeja, who was supposed to leave for South Africa on Sunday, will now leave on Tuesday. The Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Jaywant Lele said that the doctors have advised three weeks rest for Jadeja. We would like to have Jadeja back in the one-day squad, subject to his fitness status, Lele added. On the playing conditions, he said, "we have not agreed to play under lights on the Australian tour.
"The red ball would be difficult to sight under the dark background of the lights, hence they disagreed to play under lights for the test series, he elaborated. Lele also said that they have not agreed to extend play for an hour. We have agreed to extend play to make up for time for half an hour and that too, only at the close of play and not before the start of the day's play, he said.