NEW DELHI - Indian selectors have recalled former captain Saurav Ganguly for next month's three-test series in South Africa.
India's poor batting form in one-day cricket and uncertainty over skipper Rahul Dravid's availability for the opening test in Johannesburg (December 15-19) because of a finger injury prompted Ganguly's recall yesterday to bolster the brittle middle order.
Ganguly's experience is expected to help in the absence of middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh, who has been ruled out of the tour with a knee injury.
Ganguly's past record on the bouncy South African pitches- 292 runs at an average of just under 33 in five tests on two tours - worked to his favour.
"India's batting in the current series (one-dayers) has failed ... we need experience and so Ganguly has been included," chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar said.
India have already lost the five-match one-day series in South Africa 3-0 with one game remaining in Centurion on Sunday. The opening game was washed out.
The side has yet to win a test match in three previous trips to South Africa.
Ganguly was sacked as test skipper and one-day player last October and dropped from the test squad altogether in February after a long batting slump and a row with coach Greg Chappell.
The test squad comprises seven specialist batsmen (including three openers), five fast bowlers, two spinners and two wicketkeepers. - Reuters