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If not selected, Sourav may return home

Dravid and Chappell may consider going in with an unchanged eleven for the final Test in Karachi, says a report. Is this the end of road for Sourav?
By Indo-Asian News Service | None, Faisalabad
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2006 09:07 AM IST

Former captain Sourav Ganguly, currently on tour as part of the Indian team, may fly back to India if he is not selected for the third and last Test in Karachi beginning on Sunday.

Ganguly, who has not faced a single ball so far on the tour, may make the trip back to play for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy finals.

"From the look of things, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Irfan Pathan batting so well in the second Test under pressure, captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell might consider going in with an unchanged eleven for the final Test," The News quoted a source as saying on Wednesday.

"This would leave Ganguly free to play for Bengal if he is required by his state association but the problem is that he has not touched the bat out in the middle since arriving in Pakistan."

Bengal will play Uttar Pradesh in the finals of the premier domestic tournament from January 30.

The Kolkata southpaw arrived in Pakistan later than his teammates after playing a domestic game in India and missed the tour opening practice match at Lahore.

He was selected for the first Test at Lahore but with weather playing spoilsport, just one Indian innings was possible and Ganguly had no opportunity to bat.

In the ongoing second Test, Ganguly was not picked for the playing eleven as the team management preferred to go with five bowlers.

The Indian team management has generally encouraged players who are part of the squad but do not get to make it to the final playing XI to show up for domestic league matches to keep themselves sharp by getting vital match practice.

It is also not yet clear whether the Indian selectors will retain Ganguly for the five match one-day series in Pakistan. The squad for that series is expected to be announced on Sunday in Karachi.

Mohammad Kaif, incidentally, is a front-runner to make the one-day squad but will be required to lead Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji finals against Bengal.

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