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Tendulkar's return boosts India

india Updated: Aug 16, 2006 17:14 IST
Highlight Story

A fit Sachin Tendulkar returns to the team as India clash with Sri Lanka in their first match of the Unitech Cup triangular tournament at R Premadasa Stadium on Wednesday, weather permitting.

Tendulkar is back in the team for the first time since March when his right shoulder was successfully operated, but in the interim he missed 14 one-day internationals and four Test matches.

The 33-year-old batsman, who has amassed 14,146 runs in 362 ODIs besides 10,468 runs in 132 Tests, last played for India in the third Test against England in Mumbai in March.

The Rahul Dravid-led India will be looking to ride on Tendulkar's performance to avenge their defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the final of last year's tri-series, which the master batsman had missed due to another injury.

Also being recalled is left-hander Dinesh Mongia, who has forced his way into the team on the basis of his good performance for Leicestershire in the English county championship recently.

While Tendulkar is expected to return to his usual opening slot along with vice-captain Virender Sehwag, Mongia, if picked in the XI, will bat in the middle order besides providing the option of left-arm spin when required.

The players had a practice session at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground when rains gave way to bright sunshine on Tuesday.

The lone concern was Mohammed Kaif who was running temperature and did not go for net practice. But Dravid said he was left in the hotel as a precautionary measure and was available for the day-night affair.

Weather is the other concern here in Colombo as it has been raining here for five days. It continued to rain on Tuesday evening too, raising doubts about the match.

South Africa is the third team in the seven-match tournament with the final to be played on September 2 following a change in the itinerary. The change was effected because of the Proteas' refusal to play the opening match owing to security concerns raised by the bomb blast near their hotel that killed seven people on Monday.

The India-Sri Lanka match effectively becomes the opening match of the tournament.

The Mahela Jayawardane-led Sri Lankan side, on the other hand, are on a roll and are high on confidence after their 2-0 win over South Africa in the just-concluded two-Test series here.

Teams:

India: Rahul Dravid (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Irfan Pathan, Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Ramesh Powar, Munaf Patel, Ajit Agarkar and Dinesh Mongia

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara (vice-captain-wicket-keeper), Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne, Dilshan, Marvan Atapattu, Chamara Kapugedera, Prasanna Jayawardene (wicket-keeper), Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Malinga Bandara and Ruchira Perera

Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and Tyrone Wijewardena (Sri Lanka)

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