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Wednesday, July 28, 1999 Published at 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK

Sport: Cricket

Tendulkar reappointed India captain

Sachin Tendulkar: Reluctant to captain again

Sachin Tendulkar has been reappointed captain of the Indian cricket team, following doubts over the fitness of Mohammed Azharuddin.

Tendulkar is due to lead his country in the three-nation limited overs series in Sri Lanka next month and two subsequent tournaments in Singapore and Kenya.

Azharuddin was removed from the captaincy at a meeting of the Indian cricket board, because of doubts over his fitness after a shoulder operation.

Tendulkar, 26, first led India between August 1996 and January 1998 after Azharuddin was sacked.

Unanimous decision

He captained the country in 17 tests, winning three and losing four while 10 ended in draws.

Unfortunately, a dip in his form reopened the door for Azharuddin to take over the captaincy just over a year later.

[ image: Mohammed Azharuddin:
Mohammed Azharuddin: "Most successful captain"
Tendulkar, who was reportedly reluctant to take on the captain's role for the second time, will now have a bigger say in selection.

"No other name was discussed. It was unanimous," said Chief Selector Ajit Wadekar.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Wadekar said: "We are looking at the future and thought Sachin was the right choice.

"He has many good qualities, will play for a long, long time and is a real good thinker. He is likely to get the backing of all of his qualities."

Azharuddin doubt

Azharuddin's removal as captain may be permanent if Tendulkar leads the team to success.

After a poor performance with the bat in the World Cup, the injured Azharuddin is under pressure to regain his place in the team and has told the selectors that he would inform them of his fitness.

Asked if Azharuddin's leadership had come in for criticism at the meeting, Wadekar said: "There is nothing wrong with his captaincy. In fact he is the most successful Indian captain who has served Indian cricket well."

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