Chopra and Gambhir wait for a Test recall

March 18th, 2008 - 9:14 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) Prolific opener Aakash Chopra may have been disappointed at not being called up for the first two home Tests against South Africa, but even he would agree that his in-form Delhi teammate Gautam Gambhir deserved to be selected ahead of him. Gambhir, who missed the four-match Test series in Australia due to a shoulder injury but regained fitness to amass 440 runs to help India win the Commonwealth Bank Triangular Series, was ignored and Wasim Jaffer was preferred instead.

Jaffer failed in the three Tests he played Down Under, managing a mere 49 runs, and he will have to come good in the Chennai and Ahmedabad Tests to ward off the challenges from Gambhir and Chopra for the third and final Test in Kanpur.

Chopra’s coach Tarak Sinha told IANS that Gambhir was in direct competition with his ward and that’s part of the game.

Both Gambhir and Chopra, who is trying to stage a comeback to the Test team after being dropped at the end of the Nagpur match in October 2004, are currently playing for North Zone in the Deodhar Trophy limited-overs tournament.

While Gambhir was an automatic choice for the Australia tour Chopra came close to being selected following his consistent scores in domestic cricket and for India ‘A’.

After Gambhir was left out with the shoulder injury, Chopra lost the race to his Delhi captain Sehwag, who had a good record in Australia.

Chopra, who has played 10 Tests, scored 1,570 runs in domestic tournaments and for India ‘A’ and he then extended his sublime form to one-day matches, scoring heavily in the Ranji Trophy north zone one-day championship.

Chopra, last year turned down the offer to play in the rebel Indian Cricket League — and apparently a big sum. A technically sound batsman from the old school, he has now joined Kolkata for the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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