[an error occurred while processing this directive]New Delhi: India's cricket selectors will name star batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday for the forthcoming Test series in Sri Lanka, despite continued doubts over a hairline fracture on his right toe."We are hoping Sachin will be able to play in the Tests. His presence in the team is badly needed," chief selector Chandu Borde told AFP."We will include Sachin in the team and name a replacement in case his injury does not heal on time," he said on Wednesday.Without Tendulkar, India has had a miserable time in the ongoing tri-nation series in Sri Lanka with New Zealand, winning only one of its four matches. The three-Test series starts on August 14, four days after Tendulkar is due to have a scan on his toe.The Indian selectors have a difficult task with some other prominent players also doubtful. New batting sensation Venkatsai Laxman is ruled out due to a knee injury, while left-arm seamers Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan are also on the wounded list."The injury to Laxman is a big setback, but we are looking at other options," Borde said.Mohammed Kaif, who led India to victory in the under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka last year, is almost assured of a place in the Indian team. Left-handers Hemang Badani and Dinesh Mongia are the other options.But the struggle to name replacements will be as much in the medium-pace department.Nehra, considered a strike bowler in Tests, is ruled out due to a groin injury, while Zaheer is to undergo a scan on his right shin to determine his fitness.In case Zaheer cannot make it, the burden of the seam attack will be on the experienced shoulders of Javagal Srinath, who comes back for the Tests after opting out for the One-dayers.
Copyright AFP 2001