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Is it the end of Ganguly's ODI career?

It would be very difficult for the former India captain to return to the Indian one-day team.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2006 17:43 IST

Sourav Ganguly has once again been excluded from the Indian one-day team. As things stand now, it seems highly unlikely that the India's second most successful ODI batsman after Sachin Tendulkar would be able to play the shorter version of the game for the country again.

The left-hander, who has been left out of the one-day outfit since returning from the tour of Zimbabwe in September last year, was again cold-shouldered by the selectors who recalled speedster Zaheer Khan for the series beginning from February 6.

Zaheer, who missed India's last two one-day series, replaced Railways' J P Yadav in the only change from the squad that drew 2-2 with South Africa in November last year.

"We decided to retain the combination that played against Sri Lanka and South Africa. This is the best team that we have chosen," selection committee chairman Kiran More told reporters after announcing the team.

Ganguly, currently playing in the Test series against Pakistan, would take the flight home along with Parthiv Patel, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble and Wasim Jaffer once the KarachiTest ends next week.

More said Ganguly's name was discussed, but eventually they decided to retain the winning combination.

The former India wicketkeeper also justified packing the squad with five fast bowlers in Zaheer, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, RP Singh and S Sreesanth.

"We decided to go in with five fast bowlers considering the wickets in Pakistan," he said.

He brushed aside any injury scare over Kerala speedster Sreesanth and said team physio John Gloster had cleared the bowler who had no fitness problems now.

However, VRV Singh and Ashish Nehra were still to recover from their injuries, More said.

"VRV and Nehra were discussed but the duo was ruled out due to fitness concerns."

India, who had defeated Pakistan 3-2 in the ODI series in 2004, are slated to play the matches at Peshawar (Feb 6), Rawalpindi (Feb 11), Lahore (Feb 13), Multan (Feb 16) and Karachi (Feb 19).

First Published: Jan 29, 2006 17:16 IST