Ganguly to play 1st ODI, recovers from injury

Published: Friday, October 5, 2001, 1:38 [IST]
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Johannesburg: India's fitness worries have taken a backseat for the moment as captain Saurav Ganguly reported himself fit for Friday's opening day/night One-day International of the triangular series against South Africa in Johannesburg. "I will play, no questions about it," said Ganguly, taking part in the practice session this afternoon with gusto, picking up catches and throwing without any discomfort in the index finger of his right hand. Ganguly has also promised himself a decent bowl against the South African's on Friday, indicating he is prepared the join the battle with spirit and giving a largely young side the direction it needs from its captain. With Tendulkar also reporting fit and showing no signs of any discomfort in new refitted shoes, India is ready to put its best foot forward against the South Africans on Friday. India though has decided to play with only one spinner in Friday's game. "Looking at the wicket, it (playing two spinners) would not be a decent choice," said Ganguly, confirming he would go into the match with only leg spinner Anil Kumble. It means off spinner Harbhajan Singh would have his first miss of the year after coming back in such a sensational style against the Australian's in February. India thus would go into the match with all the three medium-pacers, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad and Ajit Agarkar with Kumble as a support spin bowler. The rest of the bowling burden would be shared between Ganguly, Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh. Ganguly also confirmed young Test opener Shiv Sunder Das has been pencilled in for Friday's game. "Das would play," he said, deflating the hopes of Baroda's Jacob Martin who presented his credentials in an impressive manner on Wednesday, hitting up 54 off 81 balls against South Africa 'A' at Benoni. The likely line up for Friday's game: India: Saurav Ganguly (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Shiv Sunder Das, Yuvraj Singh, Deep Dasgupta (wicket-keeper), Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad. Extras:
Agarkar guides India to thrilling win
Test squad for SA to be named on Oct 21/22

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