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September 28, 2002 | 1503 IST

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Srinath to make Test comeback

N. Ananthanarayanan

India fast bowler Javagal Srinath is set to make a Test comeback in next month's home series against West Indies, skipper Sourav Ganguly said on Saturday.

"He is going to play (Tests) again," Ganguly said when asked whether the bowler was willing to make a Test return in the home series.

"He has told (chief selector) Brijesh Patel, he has told us," Ganguly told reporters as his squad prepared for Sunday's Champions Trophy final against hosts Sri Lanka.

The 32-year-old Srinath has been summoned for the final as a replacement for injured left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra after having been left out of the original squad.

Srinath, India's second most successful Test fast bowler after Kapil Dev, abruptly retired from Test cricket in June at the end of a Caribbean tour.

Javagal Srinath He said he wanted to play one-day internationals to be in contention for next year's World Cup in South Africa.

But the selectors ignored him for the current 12-team event so Srinath opted for a short stint with English county Leicestershire to keep match-fit.

Ganguly said: "I have always told him we need you to play Test matches. I think he has done fantastically well for Leicester."

India reached the final of the Champions Trophy after a thrilling victory over South Africa in the semi-finals, while Sri Lanka comfortably defeated Australia for their final berth.

Ganguly said the team management tried to persuade Srinath against quitting Test cricket and said his presence would have improved India's victory chances on their recent tour of England where they drew a four-Test series 1-1.


"We badly needed him in England and were disappointed he backed out," Ganguly added.

"But that's past and he has been a true performer for India. Now that he has changed his mind we are happy with that."

Srinath has taken 276 wickets in one-dayers, at an average of 28.78, and 232 victims in his 64 Tests.

Ganguly said India were on the lookout for an extra fast bowler for the February-March World Cup because playing two spinners on the bouncy South African pitches would be a luxury.

"I think we need one more fast bowler...that option we will have to look at in the next 14 one-day games we will play against West Indies and New Zealand," Ganguly said.

India play seven one-day games against West Indies and on their New Zealand tour starting in November before they shortlist their World Cup squad.

Also read:
- Srinath retires from Test cricket
- Patel hints at bringing back Srinath
- Srinath to play for Leicestershire
- Srinath not among probables for ICC Knockout Championship
- 'Srinath cannot come and go as he pleases'

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