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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2006, 12:31 GMT
India drop Ganguly for first Test
Sourav Ganguly
Ganguly played two of the three Tests in Pakistan last month
Former captain Sourav Ganguly is one of six players omitted from the India squad for the first Test against England, starting in Nagpur on March 1.

Veteran seamers Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar have also been left out after India lost 1-0 in Pakistan last month.

Their replacements, Vikram Singh and Sri Sreesanth, are among four uncapped players in the 15-man group.

In-form batsman Yuvraj Singh misses out with a hamstring problem but Virender Sehwag is back from a shoulder injury.

Chairman of selectors Kiran More said: "We are looking at the future of Indian cricket."

Ganguly, 33, was sacked as captain and then left out of the one-day side after a dispute with coach Greg Chappell last August.

A controversial inclusion for the Pakistan tour, he played in the first and third Tests but batted in only two innings, hitting 34 and 37 in Karachi.

Opening batsman Wasim Jaffer has been recalled and could play in his first Test for almost four years, allowing captain Rahul Dravid to move down the order.

The alternative is 19-year-old left-hander Suresh Raina, who has played in 13 one-day internationals with a best so far of 39 not out.

Young paceman Vikram Singh has been preferred to Munaf Patel, who out-performed his opening partner in England's tour match on Thursday.

But Sri Sreesanth, who impressed during India's recent one-day series in Pakistan, is most likely to join Irfan Pathan and Rudra Pratap Singh in the pace corps.

Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who took 13 wickets during this month's Under-19 World Cup, is behind Harbhajan Singh - back from a finger injury - and Anil Kumble in the pecking order.

India squad: Rahul Dravid (capt), Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Dhoni (wkt), Irfan Pathan, Sri Sreesanth, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Rudra Pratap Singh, Vikram Singh, Piyush Chawla.



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