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Kartik, Yuvraj fail to find berths to Australia

Ashish Magotra in Hyderabad | November 16, 2003 01:45 IST
Last Updated: November 16, 2003 02:16 IST

Eventually, all the hard work has proved to be in vain for the luckless Murali Kartik.

Kartik: What more does he have to do?The Railways left-arm spinner was the only Indian bowler to make life difficult for the rampant Australians, particularly captain Ricky Ponting, in Bangalore on November 12. He again produced a fantastic spell of spin bowling in Hyderabad against the New Zealanders on Saturday.

Yet, he does not find a place in the 16 member squad that leaves on a tour of Australia from Chennai on November 21.

Instead, Bengal's Deep Dasgupta, whom one former player characterised as 'a goalkeeper', returns to the squad as the second wicket-keeper.

Even skipper Sourav Ganguly said after the late-night selection committee meeting, "I really feel for him [Kartik]."

Medium-pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji and middle-order batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Hemang Badani were the others to be axed when the 20 member list of probables announced on Thursday was pruned at the meeting in Hyderabad after Saturday's TVS Cup Tri-series match between India and New Zealand.

More on the selections

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Panix Station: Robin said that guy is a goalkeeper 
Four of the five selectors were present at the meeting that lasted more than two hours. The absentee was North Zone selector Kirti Azad, MP. Ganguly and coach John Wright represented the team management.

"The main point of discussion was Murali Kartik," Ganguly told reporters later. "He has had to miss out despite a good performance. [But] the reason Harbhajan Singh was chosen is because he has been the best spinner in the country for the past two years and Anil Kumble lends a lot of experience to the side.

"The reason Irfan Pathan, Jr, has been selected is because he is young and it will be a good experience for him. We have gone in with five fast bowlers whom I consider to be the best in the country right now."

As for taking two wicket-keepers on the tour, Ganguly said Patel continues to be the first choice. "We are taking two wicketkeepers because we cannot expect Rahul Dravid to keep wickets in the Test matches. He is one of our best batsmen and we do not want to pressure him for the Test matches."

About his own fitness after he strained his groin while batting against New Zealand earlier in the day, Ganguly said, "We will have to wait and see till tomorrow."

The squad: Sourav Ganguly (c), Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Akash Chopra, V V S Laxman, Parthiv Patel (wk), Deep Dasgupta (wk), S Ramesh, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Aavishkar Salvi.

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