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Teams gear up for ODIs with warm-up tie

Much would be at stake for the teams when an RCA President's XI takes on a buoyed English side on Saturday in the only practice game before the seven-match one-day series.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2006 18:16 IST

Much would be at stake for the teams when an RCA President's XI takes on a buoyed English side on Saturdayin the only practice game before the seven-match one-day cricket series.

The visitors, who are here without their inspirational skipper Andrew Flintoff, would be keen to maintain their winning momentum while the youngsters in the home team would try hard to make an impression on the selectors ahead of the one-dayers beginning with the first in Delhi on March 28.

The match would afford important match practice to the teams as they switch over to the shorter version of the game after the conclusion of the three-Test series which ended in a 1-1 tie with England winning the final Test by 212 runs.

The drubbing in Mumbai has served as a wake-up call to the national selectors who would be present to assess especially the performance of players like Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina.

The injury-enforced absence of Sachin Tendulkar from the Indian squad has thrown up a slot for a youngster to come in and it would be interesting to see who finally fills into the shoes of the master batsman.

The injury scare concerning Virender Sehwag, who played with a back spasm in Mumbai, has also forced the selectors to look at the bench strength although the Delhi opener has been named in the 15-member one-day squad.

The English team, to be led by Vikram Solanki, had a strenous workout in the nets this morning after arriving in the Pink Cityon Thursdayevening while the Indian squad was in the process of assembling.

One player in the local side who would attract the spotlight would be former India player and current Rajasthan skipper Ajay Jadeja.

This would be the first outing against an international side for the flamboyant batsman, who has been playing in Ranji competitions after fighting successfully a five-year ban slapped on him by the BCCI for match-fixing related allegations.

The match would also afford an opportunity to promising youngsters like V Shivramakrishnan, who hit a brilliant hundred in Deodhar Trophy at the same ground, and Jaidev Shah to check out their prowess against a quality opposition.

However, Rajasthan players— Dishant Yagnik, Vikrant Yadav, Pankaj Singh and Sanjay Gill may find it hard to make it to the playing eleven on Saturday.

Teams (from):

England: Vikram Solanki (captain), Kabir Ali, James Anderson, Gareth Batty, Ian Bell, Ian Blackwell, Paul Collingwood, Matthew Hoggard, Geraint Jones, Sajid Mehmood, Kevin Pietersen, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Andrew Strauss.

RCA President's XI: Ajay Jadeja (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Venugopal Rao, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel, VRV Singh, RP Singh, Ramesh Powar, Piyush Chawla, Rohit Sharma, V Shivaramakrishnan, Pankaj Singh, Sanjay Gill, Dishant Yagnik, Jaidev Shah, Vikrant Yadav, Mohammad Kaif.

First Published: Mar 24, 2006 15:53 IST