Dress Rehearsal For Team India Before Real Action

Canberra, Dec 18: The Indians are likely to field their first team when they take on Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in their second and final warm-up game tomorrow with the focus on the fitness of
dress rehearsal for team india before real action...
PTI 18 Dec 2011, 12:28:09 PM IST

Canberra, Dec 18: The Indians are likely to field their first team when they take on Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in their second and final warm-up game tomorrow with the focus on the fitness of their fast bowlers ahead of the four-match Test series, starting December 26.

With the injury scare to Ishant Sharma, who is likely to be rested tomorrow, the focus will be on Zaheer Khan—also returning from injury after playing just a couple of a Ranji matches.

While the bone of contention in the Indian ranks would be about how well Ishant Sharma's injured ankle is shaping up, the Australian team management would be keenly keeping a tab on the form of Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja before the real action begins.

The team sources insist it would be a precautionary rest for Ishant but at best the issue on his availability is likely to linger till the morning of the first Test in Melbourne on December 26.

In the first practice game (which was not a first-class match), Indian bowlers were taken to cleaners by Tom Cooper and Co as the Chairman's XI scored 398.

However, Sachin Tendulkar's fluent 92 and VVS Laxman's half-century have given assurances to the visitors.

Tomorrow's match would offer a first outing for the likes of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who according to senior Australian batsman Mike Hussey has earned a lot of respect from the home team.

Sehwag will be a big draw, fresh from his record double century in One-day Internationals. He would have fond memory of Manuka Oval where he thumped a century during the 2007-08 tour that paved his return to Test ranks in the subsequent Perth Test.

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