Mongia to lead rest of India team

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Punjab batsman Dinesh Mongia was named captain of the 14-member Rest of India team.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Chennai :

Punjab batsman Dinesh Mongia was named captain of the 14-member Rest of India team which will play Ranji Trophy Champions Mumbai in the Irani Cup match at Mohali. BCCI Secretary S K Nair said, "the team has been picked giving weightage to performance by India 'A' players in the recently concluded tours of Zimbabwe and Kenya." India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel and left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan were also named in the squad. On the omission of Hemang Badani, Nair said that Badani had not given documented evidence of recovery. Fitness matters Parthiv Patel was picked although M S Dhoni, a wicket-keeper batsman from Bihar, had equal credentials. The committee wanted to assess Patel in a five-day game before the Indian team is picked to play Australia in the four-Test series at home later this year. Zaheer Khan found a place in the team as the selectors wanted to assess his fitness level in a five-day match situation, keeping both the Test series against Australia and South Africa in mind. As for paceman Lakshmipathy Balaji, who is due to return home from England because of an abdominal strain, Nair said that Balaji would have to undergo rehabilitation for his injury and would require about two weeks time to fully recover from it. Amit Bhandari, who would be replacing Balaji in the Indian squad for the Champions Trophy, was already on his way. Hopefully, Balaji will be available for the Test matches against Australia. The Board would conduct periodical assessment on him. (PTI)

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