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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Laxman declared fit for second SA Test

Laxman declared fit for second SA Test

February 11, 2010 15:27 IST

Experienced middle-order batsman Vangipurappu Laxman has been declared fit to play in the second and final Test against South Africa, starting on Sunday, India's chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth said.

Laxman missed the opening Test with a finger injury as top-ranked India lost by an innings and six runs in Nagpur, their first defeat on home soil in almost two years.

"Laxman is going to be back in the Kolkata Test match," Srikkanth told CNN-IBN news channel on Thursday. "He has said he is 100 percent fit."

Laxman's return should bolster India's inexperienced middle-order which is without injured duo Rahul Dravid (jaw) and Yuvraj Singh (wrist), both ruled out of the two-Test series.

The massive defeat in Nagpur on Monday brought an end to India's 14-match undefeated streak as India's selectors came under heavy media scrutiny.

"If you say we lost the match because of selection and if that is what the media feels, then I'm willing to own up the responsibility," former Test captain Srikkanth had said, reacting to the defeat.

Wriddhiman Saha is dropped for the second Test after he contributed 36 runs in Nagpur following an unexpected debut when Rohit Sharma, called up as cover for Laxman, sustained an injury just before the match.

"We had Rohit Sharma as a back-up and if a standby player gets injured 15 minutes before the game do you think anybody could do anything about it?" Srikkanth said.

Steyn took a match haul of 10-108 to blow India away in the first Test but South African coach Corrie van Zyl expects the pitch at Kolkata's Eden Gardens to assist spin.

"I won't say it would be a minefield, but I do expect something that will help the Indian team," he told reporters on Wednesday.

India must win the second and final Test to prevent South Africa from claiming the number one position in the world rankings.

Source:
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