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Sideshow becomes matter of survival for Team India

Distressed India have a lot to gain from today's match against Zimbabwe, writes Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2005 03:16 IST

It may appear unfair but there are whispers among travelling Indian journalists that Monday’s tri-series match between India and Zimbabwe is actually a battle between the minnows.

Now, equating some of the biggest names of international cricket with Tatenda Taibu’s bunch of strugglers is perhaps being preposterous, but there has been little to cheer about India’s performance in the one-day game over the last one year.

This is why a game against a Zimbabwe side -- which lost a Test inside two days and conceded 397 in 44 overs in the first one-dayer -- becomes an important one for India. It’s not just another match against a weak side where they have little to gain and everything to lose. It’s a game they have a lot to gain from.

That the players are feeling this pressure and not taking things lightly became evident from their busy schedule which included afternoon nets after an early morning flight from Bulawayo. And for a change, there was this hint of determination on their chins when they trouped into the hotel.

“We have to find out a way to get out of this and there is no other way than going out and doing things right in the middle,” Sourav Ganguly told HT. As for the top-order capitulation against Shane Bond on Friday, he said that not much ought to be read into it since it was just “the first game”.

First Published: Aug 29, 2005 03:03 IST