Shastri bats for senior players; says Rahul not missing tour


Kolkata : Batting for senior cricketers, Team India manager Ravi Shastri Sunday said Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag still have enough cricket left in them and they were not "finished yet".

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"They are not finished yet. I respect what they have achieved so far," Shastri told a press conference at the Eden Gardens here on the last day of the conditioning camp for the team for the Bangladesh series beginning Thursday.

"I've known him (Sourav) from a young age and have captained him also. I know the kind of cricket that they (the seniors) have. They wouldn't have reached this far if they didn't have it in them. It's the same with Sachin and Sehwag. I respect them for what they've done," Shastri said.

India, whose shocking exit from the World Cup first round was precipitated by minnows Bangladesh in the Caribbeans, would play a three-match one-day series against Bangladesh from Thursday followed by two Test matches. With senior members like Tendulkar and Ganguly rested from the one-day international (ODI) side amid nose injury to Dravid, the tour has become even more challenging.

Asked if Ganguly and Tendulkar would be missed in the ODIs, Shastri evasively said: "I have been given a team. We will go there and play."

"We have got a good team in both forms of the game," he said.

On the question of uncertainty of Dravid after his injury, Shastri said: "There is no question of Rahul missing the tour."

"Rahul is fine. He will bush that off. He is a tough cookie. His improvement is being monitored," he said.

On the absence of a vice-captain for the tour, a question that became pertinent after Dravid's injury, Shastri said: "We are ready we know who will do what job in case of any eventuality."

The camp ended on a spicy note with flamboyant wicket keeper M.S. Dhoni left bewildered as he was kissed publicly by a frenzied female fan before the Eden Gardens as the team members were leaving in their bus.

The stylish cricketer was grabbed by a young girl called Shiuli, who breached security and then kissed and hugged him.