Laxman for Mongia; Ganguly rules out major changes

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2002, 2:47 [IST]
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London: Captain Saurav Ganguly has ruled out wholesale changes in the team for Tuesday's NatWest triangular series match against England, saying his boys were determined to maintain the winning sequence.

The only change Ganguly committed himself was for classy V V S Laxman coming in place of Dinesh Mongia at the number three slot. Ganguly said he wanted to field his best team against England and keep the momentum of winning going. "We want to play our best side against England, the others could get a look in at Bristol," he said. India is to play its final league game at Bristol against Sri Lanka on Thursday and all the boys sitting on the bench - Harbhajan Singh, Ajay Ratra and Tinu Yohannan - could expect to get a game there.

The captain said all the seniors wanted to play Tuesday's game and men like Yohannan must wait for their turn. Ganguly also clarified it was not his 200th game, as reported in the official notebook, but actually his 199th match. Ganguly is keen to get into a roaring form after a bit of a hiccup in his performance in the last two games. "Veeru (Virender Sehwag) and myself have not scored runs in the last two games. But it is good that the youngsters are standing up and doing it for the team," he said. The elegant left-hander said the presence of youngsters in the team had actually boosted the spirit of the entire One-day team.

"It is good in the sense the youngsters are trying to establish their places in the One-day squad and thus there is a keener competition. It has helped the team's performance. It has been a good dressing room in the last one and a half years." Despite Yuvraj Singh doing so well at number six in the One-dayers, Ganguly said the promising youngster must wait for his turn in the Test side. "He must wait for his turn.

The middle order in Test cricket is quite settled. Even Virender Sehwag is struggling to stay in the 11," Ganguly said. Ganguly clarified Sachin Tendulkar would play on Tuesday even though the little master had a personal tragedy when his grandmother passed away in Mumbai on Sunday night.

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