selection of indian team for SA tour postponed

The selection of India's squad for the first two Tests against South Africa has been postponed from March 9 to March 17. The selectors will now meet in Bangalore instead of Mumbai.

Dilip Vengsarkar, the chairman of selectors, had requested a postponement for picking a squad for the Tests starting March 26, so that players could take part in the Deodhar Trophy scheduled between March 14 and 26. "The Deodhar Trophy is a significant tournament on the domestic calendar and would have lost its value if we had announced the Test team on Sunday," Vengsarkar told Cricinfo. "We want those who returned immediately after the Test series in Australia to appear in this tournament. But those who stayed back for the CB one-day series deserve these 15 days of rest."

Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, and Wasim Jaffer are expected to turn out for their respective zones in the tournament that marks a close to the 2007-08 domestic season. Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ishant Sharma are among those who will get a break before the South Africa series.

In an earlier interview, Vengsarkar had pointed out that it was with the amount of international cricket being played, it was difficult to get players in the national side to play domestic cricket.

South Africa will arrive in Chennai on March 21 for three Tests, the first of which begins at the MA Chidambaram stadium on March 26. The next second and third Tests will be played in Ahmedabad and Kanpur between April 3-7 and 11-15.

Meanwhile India's Test specialists will have to undergo routine tests at the NCA over the next three days in accordance with a BCCI policy, which states that players who have been out of action must undergo periodic check-ups prior to all selections. Laxman, Jaffer, Ganguly, Dravid, VRV Singh, Pankaj Singh and Kumble haven't been part of the side since the Adelaide Test in January and will need to go through fitness tests before their names are cleared for selection. They will undergo tests under Paul Chapman, the trainer at the NCA, Paul Close, the physiotherapist, and Dav Whatmore. The NCA will in turn forward the reports to the board on Saturday.