India still in search of elusive opening pair

Published: Monday, April 29, 2002, 16:43 [IST]
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Castries (St Lucia): India has yet to find a right pair of openers for the third cricket Test against the West Indies, starting in Barbados on Thursday. The tourists tried different pairs of openers in the first two Tests, with Shiv Das partnering Deep Dasgupta at Georgetown in Guyana and Sanjay Bangar at Port-of-Spain in Trinidad. They failed on both the occasions, as the highest stand for the opening wicket was just 18 in three Test innings, between Das and Bangar in the second Test.

Wasim Jaffer, the only specialist opener besides Das, was dropped from the Test team after scoring 46 in two matches against Hansie Cronje's South Africans at home in 2000. Both Jaffer and Dasgupta, however, pressed their Test claims with maiden half- centuries on the tour on Sunday against Busta XI in a drawn three-day match here. India skipper Saurav Ganguly, however, was still undecided over Das's partner. "It's a good chance for either Jaffer or Dasgupta to play in the third Test," said Ganguly, whose team led the five-Test series 1-0 following a 37-run victory in the second match.

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