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  Thursday, 21 March, 2002, 08:45 GMT
Mongia earns Test chance
Mongia hits a boundary in Guwahati
Mongia sealed his place with 159 against Zimbabwe
Dinesh Mongia and Ajay Ratra have been rewarded for excellent one-day form with places in the Indian squad for next month's Test series in the West Indies.

They are the only uncapped players in the 16-strong party, with batsman Mongia replacing injured Virender Sehwag.

Ratra's selection reflects concern about the performances behind the stumps of Dasgupta, who has, however, done a solid job with the bat at the top of the order.

"Dasgupta has been included more as a batsman, Ratra will keep wickets in the Tests," said chief selector Chandu Borde.

Mongia was named Man of the Series in the one-day series against Zimbabwe, which ended earlier this week, but also averages over 50 in first-class cricket.

India are looking for only their second series win in the Caribbean, their first and only success coming 31 years ago.

Jaffer plays a cover drive
Jaffer: Domestic form secured a recall

There are eight specialist batsmen in the party, with Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer given another chance after managing only 46 runs in two Tests against South Africa two years ago.

The 24-year-old has been in excellent form n the Duleep Trophy and made 122 and 103 not out in the same match for West Zone against Central Zone in Rajkot last week.

India's bowling attack will be spearheaded by spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, but there are also five seam bowlers in the party.

"There was no scope for including a third spinner in the team. "The two spinners we are taking are world-class bowlers who can be effective anywhere, but accommodating a third spinner would have been very tough," Borde explained.

Javagal Srinath will take the new ball and will be supported by Tinu Yohannan, left-armers Zaheer Khan and Asish Nehra, and all-rounder Sanjay Bangar.

Nehra has not played since the first Test in South Africa in Bloemfontein last November, but is now free of injury problems.

Indian tour squad: Saurav Ganguly (captain), Wasim Jaffer, Shiv Sundar Das, Deep Dasgupta (wkt), Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Vangipurappu Laxman, Dinesh Mongia, Sanjay Bangar, Ajay Ratra (wkt), Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath, Tinu Yohannan.

See also:

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