Mongia, Yuvraj likely to be named in squad for WI

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2002, 1:39 [IST]
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Mumbai: Dinesh Mongia and Yuvraj Singh's devastating form in the just concluded One- day series against Zimbabwe is likely to earn them berths in the Test squad as well for the West Indies.

The selectors will meet on Thursday to pick the Indian team for 64-day tour of the West Indies starting with a three-day match against Guyana from April 5. However, selection committee chairman Chandu Borde told reporters over phone from Pune on Wednesday that it would be difficult for the selectors to fit in both Mongia and Yuvraj in the Test squad unless injury forces any of the main players out of reckoning. With dashing batsman Virender Sehwag almost ruled out for the Test series due to shoulder injury, the selectors may gamble with Mongia, who scored a fine 159 at Guwahati on Tuesday, as he can open the innings with Shiv Sunder Das, if the selectors decide to drop wicketkeeper-batsman Deep Dasgupta.

Dasgupta was found wanting behind the stumps in the two Test matches against Zimbabwe at home. Yuvraj Singh, who looked a totally different player in the last two One-dayers scoring 80 not out and 75, would strengthen the middle order. Though both Mongia and Yuvraj are considered One-day players, their recent knocks indicate they can play a waiting game as well. To back their claim for Test berths is their magnificent fielding prowess in any position. With maestro Sachin Tendulkar, leg spinner Anil Kumble and seamer Javagal Srinath, all of whom missed the One-day series against Zimbabwe, available for selection, the selectors will have a little headache in picking the final squad.

Borde said players like Mongia and Yuvraj could not be guaranteed a place in the Test squad. "They played very fine knocks and they cannot be ignored. But I understand there is a lot of difference in batting in the Tests and the One-dayers," he said. Clarifying that Borde did not mention Sehwag and was referring to prospects of Dinesh Mongia and Yuvraj Singh.

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