हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Zaheer set to make Test debut at Dhaka

Published: Thursday, November 9, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Dhaka: Putting behind the recent betting scandal and the debacle at Sharjah, Indian cricket team looks all set to make a turnaround when it takes on hosts Bangladesh in their maiden historic Test at the Bangabandhu stadium from Friday. Terming the event as ''historic'', especially for Bangladesh, Indian captain Saurav Ganguly said, ''I'm happy to be part of this historic event. It's indeed refreshing to play Test matches after playing so many One-dayers continuously. We are looking forward to this Test match and the two against Zimbabwe as well. We will go all out and try to win this match.'' Ganguly also congratulated the Bangladesh team for graduating to the world of ''senior cricket'' in real sense of the term and hoped they would do well in Test matches. That Ganguly is serious about forcing a victory here, which is very much needed to boost the morale of the team, is evident from the fact that the Indian team management had short listed 12 players from the 14 keeping medium pacer Venkatesh Prasad and young Yuvraj Singh out. Ganguly also hinted that the playing eleven 11 include five specialist bowlers - three medium pacers Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar - as well as two spinners in Sunil Joshi and Murali Karthik. Sadagoppan Ramesh is likely to open the innings with either Shiv Sundar Das or V V SLaxman. In all probability either Das or Lakshman would have to sit out on Friday. Asked about the Bangladesh team, Ganguly said, ''Yes, Bangladesh is new in the Test arena and much less experienced. They have the advantage of home ground and home crowd. I don't think they would simply be a push over. We are very serious about this match and I'm sure we would be able to live up to the expectation.''Commenting on the wicket at the Bangabandhu stadium, the Indian captain said it looked good though it was a bit wet. Asked whether he would prefer to bat or field if he won the toss, Ganguly said, ''I would decide about it after seeing the condition of the wicket tomorrow provided we win the toss.'' However, Ganguly felt that winning the toss won't make much difference here. ''The thing which would matter is how you play five days on this wicket,'' he said. Asked whether the Indian team was feeling any pressure being the overwhelming favourite here, Ganguly said, ''I don't think there is any pressure. It's another Test match for us. Yes, as a captain this would be my first Test match and I am hopeful of a positive outcome.''But for India, who last won a Test match in November against New Zealand in Kanpur, much would depend on how their top order batsmen, specially the senior trio - Sachin, Ganguly and Rahul Dravid and front line bowlers perform. Javagal Srinath, who had a lay off for a month due to injury, has certainly strengthened the Indian pace attack to a great extent. Agarkar and Zaheer Khan also did well in Nairobi and Sharjah. India's task would be much easier if they can repeat their performance and spinners Sunil Joshi and Murali Karthik bowl up to the expectation. The team also had a long workout at the nets for more than three hours at the Bangabandhu stadium this morning. UNI

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