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No major changes likely for ODIs

The national selectors are meeting in Ahmedabad today to pick the squad for the first two ODIs against Pakistan, reports Abhijeet Kulkarni.
Hindustan Times | By Abhijeet Kulkarni, Ahmedabad
UPDATED ON OCT 27, 2007 12:42 PM IST

The rotation policy has been kept in cold storage for now. The national selectors meet in Ahmedabad on Saturday to pick the squad for the first two one-day internationals against Pakistan, on November 5 and 8. They will, in all likelihood, stick to the tried and tested.

Fit-again Gautam Gambhir is likely to be the only change in the squad that played the last ODI against Australia on October 17. "Gambhir was injured. Now that he is fit again he is an automatic choice," said a selector on condition of anonymity. That means S Badrinath would miss out.

While most of the players pick themselves up on the basis of their recent performances, two players who were under the scanner — Rahul Dravid and Dinesh Karthik — would certainly be given a chance.

The general consensus about Dravid is that the former India skipper can only regain his form by spending time in the middle and his presence is crucial given that India travels to Australia for a four match Test series in December, followed by a triangular series also featuring Sri Lanka. "He has got the rest he required (Dravid was rested in the final ODI and also for the Challenger Series). I don't think he needs more rest," the selector said.

Chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar had also hinted the same on Thursday when responding to a question on whether Dravid will be rested he said: "All of them were rested for Challenger. Why do you need a rotation policy now?"

Dinesh Karthik, the other batsman under pressure, is likely to be the only name to be discussed, though the selectors should stick to him given that he has not played enough. Most of the selectors feel that the youngster has not been given enough chances to prove himself and there is no need to push the panic button yet.

The 23-year-old played just one match against Australia in which he was scored a duck and did not get a chance to play against England.

However, with Suresh Raina fit again and Rohit Sharma on the prowl, the Tamil Nadu player will have to grab his chances.

There aren't many chances of changing the bowling department, with all those rested for the Challenger Series picking themselves up.

With left arm spinner Murali Kartik delivering an impressive show in the three one-dayers against Australia, Piyush Chawla will have to wait a while. Chawla had suffered an ankle injury during India's triumphant campaign in the World Twenty20 championship in South Africa.

The major point of interest was whether Munaf Patel would make a comeback to the side, but the selectors seem to still be unsure of him being match fit.

Munaf had single-handedly destroyed Ranji champions Mumbai in the second innings of the Irani Cup game in Rajkot earlier this month, but was completely listless on Friday while playing for India Green.

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