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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Cricket

Selectors likely to opt for fringe players
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, July 05, 2013
First Published: 02:31 IST(5/7/2013)
Last Updated: 02:33 IST(5/7/2013)

With enough signs that the team is in desperate need of a break, and going by the recent instances of tours to Zimbabwe, the BCCI may not field a first-choice side for the series against the African nation.

The selectors will have to put their thinking caps on when they meet on Friday to pick the team for the five-match one-day series, starting on July 23.

With most of the players having played non-stop cricket for the last six months, the focus of the meeting will on the players to be rested. Two uninspiring performances in the tri-series have given enough indication that there are some tired legs in the Caribbean and the selectors will be keen to introduce some fresh faces.

There is no better occasion to give exposure to fringe players than a series against Zimbabwe, with India having sent a second-string team in the past too.

The selectors could recall Gautam Gambhir and entrust Rohit Sharma with captaincy.  The Delhi opener has been out of favour after he was dropped following the home series against England in January.

With an important tour to South Africa coming up, Gambhir may be given an opportunity to make a comeback. There is also a possibility that the committee may not make too many changes to the current squad, with India 'A' scheduled to tour South Africa immediately after Zimbabwe.

With Cheteshwar Pujara set to lead India 'A' and Ajinkya Rahane also expected to be included, the selectors may retain some of the current batsmen for the Zimbabwe series.

There could be changes in the bowling department too. Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parvez Rasool, who had a breakthrough season, is likely to get the nod as the selectors in all probability will rest R Ashwin.

Praveen Kumar and rookie Haryana pacer Mohit Sharma could come in for Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma.


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