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Wed Dec 25 2002
Issue No: 142

India look to redeem themselves in one-dayers

At last a forum for flashing Indian blades to be seen at their best as New Zealand prepares to face the onslaught of batsmen freed from alien conditions in the one-day international series, starting on a superb-looking Eden Park pitch on Boxing Day. New Eden Park groundsman Mark Perham is delighted with the way his portable pitch has come up for this game. The track has good grass cover and was drying off in the heat of the Auckland sun, which should have it close to perfect in time for the first game. That will not suit only the visitors, as the New Zealanders too have had to cope with the difficult batting conditions, and some outstanding batting may be just around the corner from both teams. Indian captain Sourav Ganguly will certainly be hoping to salvage a few dented reputations in this series, and since these are the last one-day games India plays ahead of the World Cup, they assume even more importance as preparation for the really vital tournament.

Fleming takes confidence from Test wins into ODIs

Ahead of the seven-ODI series, New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said there was some confidence for his side as a result of their Test wins but that it was largely confined to the bowlers.

"Really, it [the confidence] counts for very little. I've been in a situation where I've lost Test matches and I've looked forward to changing forms of the game because you take more confidence into the new form of the game than what you would if we were playing a third Test," said Fleming.

New Zealand go into the series knowing there are some key areas of their game that they have to address, and these include working the ball around for singles when the spinners are in operation - a problem area for the majority of the batsmen. "We've been working very hard on that, and just on general efficiency in every department," said Fleming.

"Our fielding will have to be good if we want to win the World Cup, so we want that to be sharp during this series," added Fleming. "Basically, the message is - efficiency has to improve and continue to improve, looking forward to South Africa."

Fleming was aware of the impressive recent record of the Indian one-day side, as well as the strengths of batsmen such as Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh in the shorter version of the game. "They have had a lot of success and have quality bowlers, so if they are introduced by John Wright, that will introduce another dimension to their team."

"I guess that the benefit from our point of view is that we have seen a lot of them in one-day cricket. We have got footage and we know how to play them on paper, but doing that against quality players is another thing."

Tendulkar sprains ankle in net practice

Sachin Tendulkar became a doubtful starter for the Boxing Day one-day international against New Zealand after he slipped and fell while bowling in the nets at Auckland on Tuesday and complained of some pain afterwards. While it is believed that Tendulkar's ankle is sprained, and not fractured, there is a possibility that he may not recover in time to play the first ODI. Soon after completing the net session, Tendulkar had to apply an ice pack to the injured ankle. The Indian team manager NR Choudhary is reported to have said that Tendulkar was confident he would be fit and raring to go after a good rest on Christmas Day. He stressed that the injury was not a fracture or a ligament tear. We are all keeping a close eye on his injury and hopefully he should be fit for the game," said Choudhary.

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As days of Test cricket go, today in 1982 was not such a hot one for India. Having already conceded a mammoth 186 to Zaheer Abbas, they also saw Mudassar Nazar get to a sedate 119 before Imran Khan then ripped through India to take eight for 60 off 20.1 overs. Pakistan went on to register a win by an innings and 86 runs in that Karachi Test.

The one-day format has suited India well in the past, and that may be the only glimmer of joy for the fans who have witnessed a comprehensive humiliation in the Tests. Moreover, the seven ODIs to come are the only preparation left ahead of the World Cup. Tune in to CricInfo to see how India shape up against New Zealand.

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Which Kiwi player was Man of the Match for his 92 on Test debut against India at Hamilton in 1994?

Previous Question

Which Indian great played his last Test in Hamilton in March 1994?

Answer:Kapil Dev

"Everyone goes through those stages where you think you're right for the job but you find that you're not. Now I've been given that opportunity I'm keen to take it." Matthew Sinclair, on his unexpected ODI call-up

"I hope our batsmen can go out and show the cricket people of New Zealand how they have become one of the most feared line-ups in world cricket." Indian coach John Wright

"India need to arrive at a settled line-up by the fourth game in this ODI series so they can carry that into the World Cup." Akshay Mazumdar

India have won only five of the 17 ODIs they have played against New Zealand in New Zealand.

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