Date: 03/16/01 08:32:00 AM

Name: nimesh


Subject: Nilesh - Sairaj for the 3rd. test \ Raju -prasad dropped.

Thu, Mar 15, 2001

Selectors make three changes

Kolkata: In the wake of its sensational win in the Kolkata Test, National Selectors
strengthened the Indian spin attack by including Mumbai`s Nilesh Kulkarni and Sairaj
Bahutule for the third and final Test starting at Chennai on Sunday.

Left arm spinner Venkatapathi Raju and medium pacer Venkatesh Prasad, who had
contributed very little to India`s win, have been dropped along with medium fast Ashish
Nehra from the 14 who did duty here.

The bowling attack for the decisive Test is further strengthened with the return of injured
opening bowler Javagal Srinath while opener S Ramesh, who had moderate success
against the Aussies, stays.

Ganguly (capt), Shiv Sunder Das, Sadgopan Ramesh, Rahul Dravid, Sachin
Tendulkar, V V S Laxman, Nayan Mongia, Harbhajan Singh, Sharandeep Singh,
Sairaj Bahutule, Zaheer Khan, Nilesh Kulkarni, Javagal Srinath, Hemang Badani.

Left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni, who put up an impressive performance against the
visiting Australians in the three-day match against Mumbai, has been recalled into
the team after a fairly long gap while Sairaj Bahutule has found favour of the selectors
with Anil Kumble not being available for the series.

``There are two riders, Srinath if unfit, will be replaced by Debashish Mohanty, and
Mongia by Samir Dighe,`` Lele told a press conference.

He said that wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya, who kept wicket until Mongia was recalled
into the team, was not considered for selection as he was unfit.

The chairman of the selection committee, Chandu Borde, said the selectors took 45
minutes to finalise the team.

Asked what was the need for changing the winning combination, Borde said ``One
cannot go by emotions, we have to assess the performance of players and see who
will be useful for the next match.``

He said that Ajit Agarkar who did duty in the first Test in Mumbai was not considered
as he had not fully recovered from illness. ``He has lost a lot of weight and needs
time to recover fully.``

Borde said, out of the four spinners, the selectors will chose three depending on the
nature of the track in Chennai.

``We will find out whether it will assist the spinners and then decide on the
composition of the team.``

He said the left-handed opener S Ramesh was retained in the team despite a string
of poor scores as he had scored runs earlier.

``Ramesh was discussed. Though he has not performed in this series so far, he had
got runs earlier, so we decided to continue with him,`` he said.

Srinath will go to Chennai on Friday where the selectors will assess his fitness.

Asked why so many spinners had been picked in the squad, Borde said ``We have to
select horses for courses, we have to go by the need of the hour.`` PTI