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Indians want Lions’ share

With confidence soaring after win over Scotland, the tourists gear up for another warm-up, reports Amol Karhadkar.

cricket Updated: Aug 18, 2007 03:13 IST
Amol Karhadkar

The rather comfortable seven-wicket win over Scotland meant that India started the one-day leg of their England tour just as they finished the Tests — on a high.

The next stop for the Men in Blue will be Nottingham, where they will face the English Lions in a warm-up game on Saturday. As far as team composition is concerned, it looks most likely that two among Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Zaheer Khan — who were rested against Scotland — will sit out this game as well.

Tuesday's opening ODI against England will be India's seventh game in 19 days, and with the fear of too much cricket causing burnouts, especially for the fast bowlers, the team management, it seems, later decided to rest Zaheer against the Lions.

While Mumbai's Rohit Sharma is likely to get a game on Saturday, in place of RP Singh, either Tendulkar or Ganguly could replace Dinesh Karthik or Mahender Singh Dhoni in the starting XI.

Gautam Gambhir, who was awarded the Man of the Match award on Saturday, said he was upbeat about India's chances in the ODI series.

"The team is doing really well," he said after Thursday's match. "We beat South Africa in an ODI series in Belfast and have now beaten England in the Tests, so we just hope to keep on carrying the momentum going into the ODIs."

Talking about his innings, Gambhir said, "Getting runs early in the series is always good."

Meanwhile, the match will also give the Indian bowlers an opportunity to have a go at three batsmen who have been named in England's squad for the first four one-dayers.

Ian Bell, who played an important knock on the last day of the Oval Test, Owais Shah, who had an impressive Test debut at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, and Ravi Bopara, who is often talked about as the future of England's batting, will be fighting amongst themselves for two slots in the England eleven.