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Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Ganguly suspended for Sri Lanka tie
Colombo: India will be without skipper Saurav Ganguly and may miss Venkat Sai Laxman and Zaheer Khan in its crucial triangular One-day series match against Sri Lanka on Saturday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Ganguly has been suspended for one match for dissent, while middle-order batsman Laxman (right knee) and left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan (right shin) are doubtful starters due to injuries and will return home after Saturday's match, Indian manager Anant Mate said on Friday."Laxman has been advised to have an operation immediately and will miss the three-Test series against the hosts after the One-day tournament," he said. "Zaheer is going back for a medical check-up and may join the team before the Tests. "Laxman and Zaheer may or may not play against Sri Lanka on Saturday, but will definitely return home after the game," Mate said. Left-arm fast bowler Ashish Nehra (groin) is the third Indian on the injury list."Nehra will be with the team for the One-day tournament only," the Indian manager said. Rahul Dravid will lead the squad in the absence of Ganguly, who has been suspended for the third time in his career. Ganguly missed a game against Australia at Kochi in 1998 and then against Zimbabwe at Rajkot in 2000.India now finds itself in a must-win situation, having lost all of its three matches. Sri Lanka and New Zealand have won three and two games, respectively."We have to win the remaining three matches," said Dravid. "We are not playing good cricket in this tournament. Our batting has not been up to the mark."Indian batsmen have been struggling for runs on slow turning wickets here, scoring 127 and 133 against New Zealand and 215 against Sri Lanka in its previous matches."It is hard to explain our batting failures," conceded Indian coach John Wright. "Even I am looking for answers. It is very frustrating." Wright said the batsmen had lacked application in the last three matches. "We have to bat with a cool head," he said. "The game is all about character. We have to play with character in the remaining matches." "We have to be more disciplined in running between the wickets," he said, referring to three run-outs in the Indian innings against New Zealand. "We have been doing only half of the job in this tournament," he said. "We are bowling and fielding well, but our batting is not clicking. I hope the batsmen learn from their mistakes."