Rest for top stars
Most of the big guns may not be seen in action and the list of absentees may include Ganguly.Updated: Jan 28, 2004 03:21 IST
A travel weary Indian team, which has criss-crossed Australia to play in the triangular series from early this month, will take on the Prime Minister's XI in a festival cricket match at Manuka Oval hereon Wednesdaybut are still undecided who would be in the playing eleven.
The Indians have had a rather listless stay in Canberra in the last few days. They did not venture out of their rooms for the first two days, postponed a morning session at the Oval this morning, generally giving the impression it is a game they would rather be happy not playing.
It is unlikely that most of the big guns would be seen in action tomorrow and the list of absentees would include captain Sourav Ganguly even though there is a certain sentiment attached with the presence of Steve Waugh as rival captain and this being bigger than a normal festival match.
The Indians are not treating this game seriously though Australians are giving it a big billing since it is a traditional fixture and also that Waugh would be around.
Waugh of course is looking forward to locking horns with the Indians in one final fling at the tourists who almost caused him grief during the Test series.
"For me, of course, I thought I'd played my last match against India in Sydney earlier this month, but I guess I have another opportunity to face a very in-form team that no doubt will be looking to maintain its' successful tour to date," Waugh said.
The home team has four players who recently represented Australia 'A' against Zimbabwe. They include South Australia's Mark Cleary and Shaun Tait, Tasmanian fast bowler Damien Wright and Western Australian Marcus North who smashed a brilliant 115 against the Africans.
Victoria's David Hussey is also expected to provide some fireworks when he makes his way to the crease. His double century against NSW in Newcastle last week was heralded by Waugh as one of the best knocks he had seen in domestic cricket for years. Waugh felt the selectors should be paying close attention to Hussey for higher honours in future.
Also around will be chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns who is looking to spot a bowling talent who could get a surprise selection in the Australian squad for the rest of the tri-series. He feels the presence of Waugh would bring that extra effort from the youngsters in tomorrow's match.
"Steve is a player most of these guys would have looked up to as they were coming through the ranks, and I know they will be thrilled to be able to play alongside him."
Prime Minister's XI: Stephen Waugh (captain), Marcus North, Cade Brown, Matthew Bradley, David Hussey, Andrew McDonald, Chris Hartley, Mark Cleary, Damien Wright, Xavier Doherty and Shaun Tait.
India (from): Sourav Ganguly (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Shewag, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Rohan Gavaskar, Parthiv Patel, Anil Kumble, Murali Kartik, Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra, Laxmipathy Balaji, Hemang Badani, Sanjay Bangar and Ajit Agarkar.
First Published: Jan 27, 2004 14:17 IST