Sword falls on Chopra, opening still 'open'

Published: Monday, April 12, 2004, 20:07 [IST]
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Rawalpindi: India on Monday dropped opener Aakash Chopra and Ajit Agarkar but a decision on who would open the innings in the series-deciding Test against Pakistan is still pending.

Announcing the playing eleven at Rawalpindi, skipper Sourav Ganguly said, "it was a tough call to leave out Chopra. But it is still not decided who will open the innings tomorrow, it could either be me or Yuvraj Singh."

Agarkar has been replaced by left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra.

Ganguly, returning to the side after a brief injury lay-off, which saw him miss the first two Tests, said the team management had taken into account the possibility of Yuvraj opening the innings while picking the squad for the Tests.

"Obviously when we had picked Yuvraj ahead of Sadagopan Ramesh for the Tests, we had this in mind that he may have to open if necessary," said the skipper. But he made it clear that the Punjab left-hander was not certain to open the batting.

"It is not decided who will open," he said.

Pakistan has not named their playing eleven but captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said paceman Abdur Rauf had been left out of the squad, now pruned to 16.

Indian Team: Sourav Ganguly (capt), Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Parthiv Patel, Irfan Pathan, Anil Kumble, L Balaji, Ashish Nehra.

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