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Indians taking PM's match lightly
January 27, 2004 16:40 IST
A travel weary Indian team takes on the Australian Prime Minister's XI in a festival cricket match at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday.
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, and generally gave the impression that it is a game they would rather be happy not playing.
It is unlikely that most of the big guns will be seen in action tomorrow and the list of absentees could include captain Sourav Ganguly, even though there is a certain amount of sentiment attached to the game owing to the presence of Steve Waugh as rival captain.
The Indians are not treating this game seriously though the Australians are giving it big billing since it is a traditional fixture and also because of the fact that Waugh will be around.
Waugh is looking forward to 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 New South Wales in Newcastle last week was acclaimed by Waugh as one of the best knocks he saw in domestic cricket for years.
Waugh felt the selectors should be paying close attention to Hussey.
Also around will be chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns, who is looking to spot bowling talent that could earn selection in the Australian squad for the rest of the tri-series. He feels the presence of Waugh will 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.