Ganguly in, Laxman appointed vice-captain

Published: Thursday, November 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Ending days of speculation as Sourav Ganguly today returned to the Indian Test team for the three-match series against South Africa starting December 15.

The deposed Indian skipper has been brought back into the side after a string of poor results, the most recent being the 0-3 ODI series loss to the South Africans.

VVS Laxman, currently in South Africa as cover for the injured Rahul Dravid, has been named vice-captain of the 16-member squad instead of Virender Sehwag after a meeting of the BCCI selection committee here today.

Meanwhile, despite his poor run with the bat in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa, opener Wasim Jaffer has been given a place in the Test side.

Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Mongia and Ajit Agarkar have been omitted. Meanwhile, Gautam Gambhir and VRV Singh will join the side.

"I am happy to be back. I have done well for 10 years and it's always a challenge playing international cricket," Sourav Ganguly told reporters in Kolkata. "Wickets will have a bit of bounce, so playing shots square of the wicket will be the key. I will take it one series at a time. I have the runs behind me, the experience in playing in South African conditions and will try to contribute with both bat and ball."

Asked about the current team's failure in the ODIs in South Africa, Ganguly said, " I am too far away to comment on them. We have played at bouncy pitches before, we have been successful, and I am sure as the tour goes on, the team will fire."

Team: Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, S Sreesanth, VRV Singh, Irfan Pathan, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh.


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