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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 November, 2003, 15:17 GMT
India profiles
Right-arm medium pace bowler; right-hand batsman

Lakshmipathy Balaji
Born: 27.9.1981
Team: Tamil Nadu
Test debut: v New Zealand, Ahmedabad 2003
ODI debut: v West Indies, Vadodara 2002

A late replacement for injured Aavishkar Salvi, Balaji has plenty to prove on his first overseas tour with the national side.

He looked innocuous in his first two Test appearances against New Zealand, bowling 67 overs but only managing to pick up a single wicket.

Balaji has an excellent record in domestic cricket, however, and was the joint leading wicket-taker in the 2002-03 Ranji Trophy with 47 victims in seven games as Tamil Nadu reached the final before losing to Mumbai.

He began the current season in similar fashion and recently achieved career-best figures of 7-42 in a match against Rajasthan.

Only 22, Balaji has time on his side, but knows there are plenty of promising young seam bowlers around in Indian cricket and the selectors will want to see him take a step forward in Australia.

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