Jaffer likely to sit out of three-dayer
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Jaffer likely to sit out of three-dayer

Opener Wasim Jaffer seems likely to sit out in the New Zealand-Board President XI three-day match beginning on Friday.

india Updated: Sep 26, 2003 11:29 IST

Opener Wasim Jaffer seems likely to sit out in the New Zealand-Board President XI three day match beginning here from Friday.

Sources said that Mumbai's Jaffer had already got a look-in the Irani Cup match last week, and hence the team think tank was veering to the idea of using either Akash Chopra or S S Das as Virender Sehwag's opening partner. However, there was also a distinct possibility of both these batsmen playing with Delhi lad Chopra coming at one down.

All the players of the 14-member Indian team assembled in the steel city by this evening, with skipper Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh trooping in last from Kolkata, The duo, as also stylish middle order bat V V S Laxman missed the team's only practice session before the tie this afternoon.

All other members of the side went to the venue and did a fitness drill at the modern gymnasium attached to the dressing room before spending two and half hours at the nets.

Team manager and national selector from East Zone, Pranab Roy, said the side had no injury problems and the final eleven would be be selected tomorrow.

Sources said a decision whether to go for a double spin attack of Ramesh Powar and Amit Mishra or persist with one of them would be taken on the morrow.

Meanwhile, rains robbed the Kiwis of any practice session during the day and the team stayed out at the hotel.

Stand-in coach Ashley Ross said the team's build up for the tour opener would be affected by the lack of practice.

Ross, the stand-in for John Bracewell, who has been interacting with the media on a regular basis since arriving in India, said that his side wanted to focus on the first Test at Ahmedabad from October 8.

"For us, the two side games are not an end in themselves, but a means to an end. That end is the first Test", he said.

"Whatever plans and strategies we have we will put to use in the side games. It will be a learning process for us in the run-up to October 8," he said.

Ross said that his players were young in age, but not lacking in expereince. "Most of them have toured this part of the world. So, they can easily adapt to the conditions in India."

The coach said the presence of players like Laxman and Sehwag in the Board President ranks would benefit his team's preparations for the big games. "Whatever plans we have against them, we will try those out. If they do not click, at least we'll be wiser with the experience".

First Published: Sep 25, 2003 22:51 IST