Tendulkar, Mongia back for Sri Lanka tri-series



Sachin Tendulkar was on Thursday named in the Indian team for a tri-series in Sri Lanka in August, marking the star batsman’s return to the circuit after five months off due to injury.

The August 14-29 limited-overs event in Colombo also featuring South Africa will be Tendulkar’s first international outing since the final Test against England in Mumbai in March.

A shoulder injury, which required surgery in London in April, kept the 33-year-old out of the home one-day series against England and the recent tour of the West Indies. Tendulkar, one-day cricket’s most successful batsman with 14,146 runs and 39 centuries, was an automatic selection after being declared fit by team physiotherapist John Gloster on Tuesday.

“Sachin was sure to be in the team once he was cleared,” the chairman of selectors Kiran More told reporters here. “You can’t have doubts about such a great player,” he remarked.

Tendulkar’s return will boost India after Rahul Dravid’s men suffered an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at the hands of Brian Lara’s unfancied West Indies in May.

The selectors also recalled Dinesh Mongia after a gap of 15 months, rewarding the left-handed batsman and left-arm spinner for his consistent performance this season for English county Leicestershire.

Mongia, who played in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa where India reached the final, has so far scored 1,073 runs and claimed eight wickets in 51 matches. He last played for India against Pakistan at New Delhi in April, 2005.

Anil Kumble was once again left out of the one-day squad despite the leg-spinner being India’s most successful bowler in both forms of the game with 533 Test and 329 one-day wickets. The 35-year-old, who is in line for a World Cup recall next March, will continue with English county Surrey for the next two months and may be recalled for the 10-nation Champions Trophy in India in October-November.

“Anil is a great bowler and will always remain in our calculations,” said More. “He is a proven player, we need to test the youngsters,” he added.

Batsmen Robin Uthappa and Venugopal Rao made way for Tendulkar and Mongia from the one-day side that played in the West Indies. “We have great faith in this team,” said More. “They may have lost the one-dayers in the West Indies but most of them were close games that could have gone either way.”

India, who arrive in Sri Lanka on August 10, open their tri-series campaign with a day-night match against the hosts at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo on August 16. Each team plays the other twice in the league with the top two advancing to the final on August 29.

Squad: Rahul Dravid (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Muhammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Mongia, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Ramesh Powar, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Munaf Patel and Rudra Pratap Singh; Coach: Greg Chappell.

Source:The News

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