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India welcome back Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar is fit to take his place in the struggling Indian batting order for the fifth one-dayer against New Zealand on Wednesday.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2003 11:52 IST

Sachin Tendulkar is fit to take his place in the struggling Indian batting order for the fifth one-day international against New Zealand on Wednesday, their coach said.

Tendulkar injured his ankle bowling in the Auckland nets on Christmas Eve, and though the injury was believed to be minor, it was enough to sideline him for the first four ODIs as his country went 4-0 down in the seven-match series.

The batsman with a one day record of 300 matches, 11,544 runs, 33 centuries and an average of 44.22, was looking forward to helping his team out of their slump, according to Indian coach John Wright on Monday.

Captain Sourav Ganguly told the media after the seven-wicket defeat in Queenstown on Saturday, that all the team's supporters were being let down by the Indian team.

He said: "These boys have done well over the past year and we've won more games than we've lost. We are all struggling, but all 14 players need to pull us through."


New Zealand have dropped batsman Craig McMillan and replaced him with Shane Bond, who has recovered from a side strain.

The evergreen all rounder Chris Harris is likely to get a game and medium fast bowler Kyle Mills may be rested.

Stephen Fleming, the New Zealand captain, refuted suggestions that the home side would use the three remaining matches for experimentation.

"There will be different personnel coming in and out but that's good because in a long tournament like the World Cup we are going to have injuries, I am sure, looking at our history," he said.

"So we've got to get the way we introduce players and use players down pat before the tournament.

"It's not experimentation. That's one thing we are not going to do. We've experimented for 18 months. We're looking at sharpening up systems and putting ourselves under pressure in different scenarios."

Fleming said he was not concerned about the lack of form the New Zealand batsmen are showing and that victory has come through Indian deficiencies rather than the home batting dominance.

"This match could be an opportunity to bat first and try and post a good score. To be put under pressure would be nice just to test us out.

"It's about us really, what we want to do and how we want to do it and while our opposition has been written off I still think they are capable of providing good competition which is something that's been missed."

New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, , Mathew Sinclair, Scott Styris, Brendon McCullum, Chris Harris, Jacob Oram, Andre Adams, Daniel Vettori, Daryl Tuffey, Shane Bond, Kyle Mills.

India (from): Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Dinesh Mongia, Mohammad Kaif, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath, Ashish Nehra, Rakesh Patel, Vangipurappu Laxman.

First Published: Jan 07, 2003 10:26 IST