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Ashok Dinda may get the nod for ODIs, T20s

Bengal pacer likely to be part of India squad for triangular series Down Under

Bengal medium-pacer Ashok Dinda may be a surprise inclusion when the selectors of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) pick the 16-member squad for the tri-series and T20 matches in Chennai today.  Tri-series also involves Sri Lanka.


Ashok Dinda celebrates his first international wicket during the Twenty
20 match against Sri Lanka in Nagpur on December 9, 2009. Pic/AFP


In an effort to lift the sagging morale of the side, selectors are likely to opt for a fresh seam attack, but with Zaheer Khan as the spearhead. Zaheer and Dinda apart, Praveen Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan are almost certain to be the other three seamers.

Going by statistics on the domestic circuit, Dinda has done enough (35 wickets in six matches) to impress the five wise men -- Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Mohinder Amarnath, Surendra Bhave, Narendra Hirwani and Raja Venkat. Dinda, who has played five ODIs, last played against Sri Lanka  in Dambulla on June 22, 2010.

Also, former Indian captain and BCCI technical committee chairman Sourav Ganguly's call to include the Bengal seamer will count much as he (Ganguly) has seen Dinda saving Bengal from being relegated in the last Ranji Trophy match against Baroda from close quarters. It may be recalled that it was under Ganguly's captaincy that Dinda bagged a fifer in each innings against Baroda last month.

By the way, talk of including veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has taken a backseat. "He hasn't done anything to get noticed," said a selection committee source. Yuvraj Singh has yet to attain full fitness and so won't be considered. Young pace sensation Varun Aaron is not  match-fit. India will play their first tri-series match against Australia on February 1 in Sydney.

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