Dhoni set to lead T20 challenge
In the absence of Dravid, the wicketkeeper-batsman is expected to be named captain, reports Amol Karhadkar.cricket Updated: Aug 07, 2007 03:13 IST
It was hinted on June 12 when Mahendra Singh Dhoni was appointed Rahul Dravid's deputy for the tour to Ireland. On Tuesday, Dhoni will most certainly be announced as the Indian captain for next month's inaugural Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa.
The national selection panel meets here on Tuesday to select India's squad for the Twenty20 World Cup and the seven-match NatWest series against England.
With the three biggies — Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly — opting out of the tournament since “it's a game for generation next”, Dhoni is the frontrunner for the captain's post.
Chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar who, along with captain Dravid, will join the other four selectors via a teleconference from England, had praised Dhoni after his elevation to vice-captaincy, saying: "Dhoni's a good student of the game and is a consistent performer.”
Sehwag for Twenty20
Meanwhile, Virender Sehwag, who was axed after the Bangladesh tour, is certain to find a place in the Twenty20 squad. However, it's unlikely that Sehwag will be recalled for the England one-dayers.
However, it remains to be seen whether the selectors recall Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh and Ajit Agarkar.
It's unlikely that any of the three will be picked for the one-dayers. However, Pathan — who hasn't really delivered the goods during the ongoing India 'A' tour to Zimbabwe and Kenya — and Agarkar could well be picked for the Twenty20 Worlds due to their reputation as utility cricketers.
Harbhajan, on the other hand, will find it difficult to get a slot in any of the two teams.
Mumbai's Ramesh Powar looks a certainty for both the squads as the regular off-spinner.
On the recovery trail
It would also be interesting to see whether Manoj Tiwary, Munaf Patel and Suresh Raina — all having recovered from various injuries — will be considered for either of the tournaments.
While Tiwary, after recovering from a shoulder injury that he sustained in Bangladesh, hasn't played any competitive cricket, Patel and Raina appeared for their respective employers in the KSCA invitational tournament in Bangalore last week.