Zimbabwe practice hampered by lack of kit

Written by: Suresh Parekh
Published: Tuesday, November 7, 2000, 15:15 [IST]
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Indore: Zimbabwe start their first full tour of India from Wednesday as they take on the National Cricket Academy (NCA) XI in the three-day encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.

The Zimbabweans were keen to practice in the morning, but had to put off their "net session" to the afternoon as their kits had not arrived. Meanwhile, the NCA players were supervised by director Hanumant Singh, his assistant Vasu Paranjape and NCA committee member Polly Umrigar.

Youngster S Sriram, who had a miserable Sharjah trip as he was dismissed twice while hooking the ball early in his innings, had a long stint at the nets. Mr Dungarpur later explained to the youngster the need to be relaxed while batting.

The match is also of significance for two other promising youngsters - Mohammed Kaif and Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Punjab all-rounder Sodhi is fresh from his ton and three wickets that he took against Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy match recently.

"I am very positive about this match and I am looking forward to a good contest here," Sodhi told Thatscricket.com soon after his practice session. He said that the playing XI had not been decided an may be done so after a briefing with Mr Hanumant Singh and BCCI selection committee chairman Chandu Borde, who also arrived on Tuesday morning.

Mohammad Kaif, who made his Test debut early this year against South Africa, is also looking forward for this match. He is easily the most talented player, according to one former player. He should do well is the general perception and his fielding will be very vital. India's physio Andrew Leipus considers him as the fittest Indian cricketer.

Niraj Patel of Gujarat is too not far away from contention. He really impressed Hanumant Singh and Sunil Gavaskar at the NCA. Two aspiring medium pacers, R Tripathi and Sarandeep Singh, will also be seen in action. They bowled well in the under-19 World Cup that India won earlier in the year in Sri Lanka.

Zimbabwe too would be looking forward to their players, especially those who are coming to India for the first time, benefiting immensely from this match.

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