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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Cricket

Laxman likely to retain his spot
Amol Karhadkar, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, August 09, 2012
First Published: 23:37 IST(9/8/2012)
Last Updated: 23:48 IST(9/8/2012)

Four of the five national selectors who will assemble in Mumbai on Friday are set to attend their last major selection meeting. Still, it is highly unlikely that they will ring in drastic changes to the national cricket team to mark their signing off.

The five wise men will have a lot of issues to tackle as they finalise the squad for the two-Test series against New Zealand and the one for the two Twenty20 Internationals against the Kiwis and next month's World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

The Tests will be played in Hyderabad (Aug 23 -27) and Bangalore (Aug 31 - Sept 4).

But the selectors are set to resort to a "don't offend anyone" approach. This would mean that VVS Laxman, who had a mediocre, to say the least, outing during last year's Test humiliations in England and Australia, will not be asked to hang his boots after the New Zealand series.

Similarly, Rohit Sharma, who tallied just 13 runs from five innings in India's just-concluded ODI series in Sri Lanka, is set to retain his place both in Tests and Twenty20s.

Since Ishant Sharma is still recovering from his ankle surgery, Umesh Yadav will be the preferred new-ball partner of Zaheer Khan in the Tests while Ashok Dinda will be rewarded with a place in the 15-member squad as the reserve pacer.

 As for Yuvraj Singh's much-anticipated return to top flight after recovering from cancer, it would take nothing less than a miracle for the southpaw to feature in the squad for the World Twenty20, which starts on September 18.


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