Thursday, Jun 06, 2002
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By our Special Correspondent
Looking very fit and confident, Ganguly, who was unanimously retained as captain for the forthcoming England tour, said on Wednesday: "I will definitely talk to Srinath, he remains India's best fast bowler. Decisions do change and there are chances of his comeback.''
Srinath declared in Bangalore a few days ago that henceforth he will play only `objective' cricket and that the selectors can consider him for limited over internationals. Srinath's determination to remain in one part of the international scene is driven by strong World Cup ambitions.
One could detect Ganguly's hope not to be beaten by a long shot. By the tone of his expression, it is clear that he will make a forceful pitch for Srinath's inclusion in the 15-member team for the NatWest Trophy tri-series.
Once he achieves the first objective of getting Srinath he was not picked by the selectors for the five match series in the West Indies in the team for the tri-series, Ganguly will have time in England to coax and talk Srinath out of retirement.
Whether Ganguly succeeds in persuading Srinath depends largely on whether Srinath will have the enthusiasm to stay fit for a match that can last 30 hours and more over a period of five days.
Speaking to the media after a long haul from Trinidad to Mumbai he made his position clear about the option of picking a specialist stumper for the NatWest series and his improvement as captain in the last two months in the West Indies.
Ganguly has set long-term plans for his deputy Rahul Dravid, which according to reports, the latter is happy with. Ganguly wants Dravid to concentrate on wicketkeeping, a job that will help India find the balance in choosing the team for the World Cup and also provide a solution, though short- term, in finding a batsman-wicketkeeper.
But Ganguly also asserted that there would be a specialist wicketkeeper who will be part of the team for the NatWest series.
"Rahul has done a fantastic job for the team. He's been very good behind the stumps. He would have got used to keeping wickets as we approach the World Cup. But we must have a specialist `keeper as well in the squad. I am very clear on that. A good player will adjust anywhere and Sachin Tendulkar has proved that.''
When asked if his development as captain was seen in the West Indies he said: "I try and give my best every time I take the field. I am still learning. I have made mistakes. But I will not be found wanting on effort. I will always strive for it,'' said Ganguly, adding that, the players know that there's not much time before the start of the tour of England. "They (players) are mentally prepared for it.''
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