Dinesh Mongia to lead Rest of India team

Published: Monday, September 13, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Chennai:Punjab batsman Dinesh Mongia was on Monday named captain of the 14-member Rest of India team which will play Ranji Trophy Champions Mumbai in the Irani Cup match at Mohali from September 22 to 26.

Announcing this at a press conference in Chennai, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary S K Nair said, "The team has been picked on the basis of performance by India 'A' players in the recently concluded tours of Zimbabwe and Kenya."

India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel and left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan were also named in the squad.

On the omission of Hemang Badani, Nair said, "Badani has not given documentary evidence of having recovered from his injury, while the selectors perused the certificates submitted by Aakash Chopra."

He said Parthiv Patel was picked although M S Dhoni, a wicketkeeper batsman from Bihar, had equal credentials because the committee wanted to assess Patel in a five-day game before the Indian team is picked to play Australia in the four-Test series at home later this year.

Zaheer Khan found a place in the team as the selectors wanted to assess his fitness level in a five-day match situation, keeping both the Test series against Australia and South Africa in mind.

As for paceman Laxmipathy Balaji, who is due to return home from England because of an abdominal strain, Nair said he would have to undergo rehabilitation for his injury and would require about two weeks to recover from it.

Amit Bhandari, who would be replacing Balaji in the Indian squad for the Champions Trophy, was already on his way, Nair said.

"Hopefully, Balaji will be available for the Test matches against Australia. The Board would conduct periodical assessment on him," he said.

On the contempt petition filed in a Bhopal court relating to Jagmohan Dalmiya's appointment as Board's patron-in-chief, Nair said "we have decided not to make any comment on the subject."

Rest Of India team: Dinesh Mongia (Capt), S Sriram (Vice Captain, Tamilnadu), Aakash Chopra (Delhi), Gautam Ghambir (Delhi), Dhiraj Jadav (Maharashtra), A T Rayudu (Hyderabad), Parthiv Patel (Gujarat), Murali Kartik (Rlys), Shiv Shankar Paul (Bengal), Zaheer Khan (Baroda), Y A Golwalkar (M.P), Y Venugopal Rao (Andhra), Joginder Sharma (Haryana) and Sidharth Trivedi (Gujarat).

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