Ganguly named in Test squad

Chennai, November 23:

Deposed captain Sourav Ganguly was on Wednesday handed a lifeline to revive his faltering career after being picked in India’s Test squad for the home series against Sri Lanka.

Ganguly, 33, who was sacked as skipper for both Test and one-day cricket this season, was included in a 15-man squad for the first Test here from December 2, chairman of selectors Kiran More said.

“We have included Sourav as a batting all-rounder,” More said justifying the inclusion of eight specialist batsmen in the squad. Ganguly was last month dropped from the one-day side due to poor form, an elbow injury and a damaging public row with coach Greg Chappell.

More denied rumours that powerful official Jagmohan Dalmiya had pressured the selectors to include Ganguly. It will be a toss-up between four batsmen — Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif — for the No 5 and 6 slots behind Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.

Mahendra Dhoni will make his Test debut as wicketkeeper, while RP Singh finds a place as the third seamer behind Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar. Veteran leg-spinner Anil Kumble returns to lead the slow bowling attack that includes Harbhajan Singh and Murali Kartik.