Windies Quest - Srinath, Bangar likely to play, Patel too joins team

Published: Friday, November 8, 2002, 0:00 [IST]
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Nagpur: The Indian think-tank is likely to make two changes, bringing in speedster Javagal Srinath and all-rounder Sanjay Bangar in place of left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra and allrounder J P Yadav for the second One-day International against the West Indies at Vidharbha Cricket Association (VCA) ground on Friday.Meanwhile, Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly, who was to reach the orange city on Wednesday, arrived on Thursday with 17-year-old wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel, who was not named in the One-day squad, fuelling speculations that there could be more than two changes for Friday's match.Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary S K Nair confirmed from Thiruvananthapuram over phone that Patel has been asked to join the team as a standby for vice-captain Rahul Dravid, who had cramps in his legs during the Jamshedpur match.The team management wanted Patel to be with the team for this and Rajkot matches in case Dravid has fitness problems and could not keep wickets, Nair added.With the Indians trailing the seven match One-day series 0-1 the host will go all out to level the scores here on a newly laid ground which looks lush green with not a single patch of brown anywhere. With so much of grass on the pitch the Indians are likely to go in with three pacemen Srinath, Bangar and Ajit Agarkar. This combination will also strengthen the batting line-up with both Srinath and Bangar (as opener) getting useful runs in the just concluded three-match Test series.Ganguly, who has had a very poor series so far with the bat, would be looking for a big score here as he has got a century (130 not out) against Sri Lanka in 1998-99. Ganguly also has best bowling figures for an Indian (4 for 21) against the Lankan in the same match.The other opening batsman Virender Sehwag too would be rearing to go after his fine performances in the Test series while Agarkar, who scored an attacking 90 odd runs in the first One-dayer as a one-drop batsman, would be eager to prove that it was not a flash in the pan.V V S Laxman, who has taken over Sachin Tendulkar's number four slot, as the little master is unavailable for this series due to a hamstring problem and Dravid would be adding solidity to the Indian middle order batting while the two youngsters Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif have given a new dimension to the lower middle order batting.The Indian tail which used to crumble without a fight, has been wagging a little bit in the recent matches with Harbhajan Singh, Srinath and Anil Kumble coming up with useful scores.The bowling will be a cause for worry as Agarkar, who has the distinction of being the quickest to take 50 wickets in One-dayers, has not been giving the team breakthroughs as he used to in the past and Srinath has found it difficult to make vital in-roads in the rival batting order.However, if Bangar is included then it would add more variety to their bowling. Both Kumble and Singh will have to bowl better than what they did at Jamshedpur for their team's better chance of winning here. The lowest score by Indians on this wicket has been 193 all out off 274 balls against the West Indies in 1987-88, while a visiting team's lowest total has been 154 all out off 273 balls by Zimbabwe against the Aussies in 1995-96.Teams (from) India: Saurav Ganguly (captain), Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, V V S Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Dinesh Mongia, Harbhajan Singh, Sanjay Bangar, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Ajit Agarkar, J P Yadav, Ashish Nehra and Parthiv Patel. Coach: John Wright.West Indies: Carl Hooper (Captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Pedro Collins, Corey Collymore, Cameron Cuffy, Mervyn Dillon, Vasbert Drakes, Darren Ganga, Chris Gayle, Ryan Hinds, Wavell Hinds, Ridley Jacobs (WK), Mahendra Nagamootoo, Ricardo Powell Marlon Samuels and Ramnaresh Sarwan. Coach: Roger Harper.Umpires: Ashoka De Silva (Sri Lanka) and K Hariharan (India).Match Referee: Mike Proctor (South Africa). PTI

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