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Sree ill, doubtful for Sunday's tie

India suffers a big setback ahead of their ODI match against Australia as their pace bowler Sreesanth is down with fever.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Melbourne
UPDATED ON FEB 09, 2008 06:21 PM IST

India suffered a big setback ahead of their tri-series one-day encounter against Australia with pace spearhead S Sreesanth rendered doubtful because of fever.

Sreesanth is suffering from fever and he is on antibiotics, a team source said in Melbourne on Saturday.

The Kerala paceman bowled brilliantly in the abandoned tri-series opener against the hosts to pick up the valuable wickets of Australian captain Ricky Ponting and retiring glovesman Adam Gilchrist.

If Sreesanth does not get fit in time for tomorrow's match, the Indian team management has to decide between Gujarat speedster Munaf Patel and leg spinner Piyush Chawla.

There is a possibility that India could go into the match with two spinners as the duo of Harbhajan Singh and Chawla can create problems for the strokemaking Aussie batsmen on the slow and low track of MCG.


One-day specialist Yuvraj Singh has been going through a lean patch since the Test series while the form of some of the other younger batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Robin Uthappa, who joined the team for one-day team, has also been worrying factor.

The focus will again be on the youngsters who have replaced stalwarts like Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly in the team. Another batting failure would no doubt put enormous pressure on them.

The Australians, on the other hand, have a settled batting line up and the return of Matthew Hayden, who invariably reserves his best against the Indians, has only strengthened the line-up.

Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting is hoping that his champion team carries the momentum into the game against India.

"We've got a full game of cricket and a really good, comprehensive win. We're probably going to get similar types of conditions in Melbourne as well," Ponting said.

"The wicket all year down there hasn't offered much pace and bounce either, so what we've got out of this game we can take down there and hopefully adapt to their attack and adapt to their batting line-up," he added.

Ponting also reminded the Indians that his bowlers have been doing a good job in the one-dayers.

"(But) We've got a really good mix and balance with our bowling attack in both forms of the game right now. Our one-day attack the last couple of years has been very solid," he said.

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