India seek to break jinx under Dravid

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2000, 21:10 [IST]
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Rajkot: Zimbabwe will have history on their side as they take on India in the fifth and final One-dayer at the Rajkot Municipal Corporation ground on Thursday with the series already decided in India's favour at 3-1.India have lost four matches out of the five played here and Zimbabwe will be looking to continue the visitors domination here on this ground.However Zimbabwe have a few injuries scares and yet to disclose their playing 11, which will be decided after the players concerned pass the fitness test which will be done on the morning of the match. When asked who were the players nursing injuries, Zimbabwean captain Heath Streak refused to divulge the names, saying he could not tell now.

For India Rahul Dravid will be making his debut as captain with Saurav Ganguly being suspended for one match showing for dissent in the last game at Kanpur. Wicket keeper Vijay Dahiya who was also booked by match referee Barry Jarman for a similar offence in the last game has been let off with a one match suspended sentence.The Zimbabweans would be going into this match with the aim of finishing on a high note especially with the New Zealand and Australian tours ahead of them.''This is a very important match for us with the two series down under ahead of us and we would like to finish on a winning note to put us in the right frame of mind for the tours ahead of us,'' Streak said.India have also not disclosed their playing 11, though with the Ganguly being banned for one match, there would definitely be one change.

Dravid, however, refused to name the 11, saying that the choice has now narrowed down to 13 anyway and "we will decide on the morning of the match".Dravid said, ''It is a great honour for me to be able to captain India, though I know that I am only filling in for Saurav.'' He said, "This wicket looks like a typical Rajkot wicket with a lot of runs on it." However, Dravid felt that the toss would not make any difference whether they bat or bowl first.Dravid said he would also like to set the Rajkot record straight by registering a win here. On the series, Dravid said overall it was a good seriesexcept for one bad game at Jodhpur. "There are a lot of rough edgesin the side at the moment with fielding being the most troublesomearea. We also have to improve on all facets of the game."Dravid was also impressed with the youngsters in the team, saying that these youngsters have come up with real good performances in the last three months.

The Indian coach John Wright said, ''We are looking for intensity from the guys, in Jodhpur we were a little flat and got punished for it. We have a good One-day side at the moment.'' Heath Streak felt it was important for them to come out and play good cricket. He said the absence of Saurav Ganguly would lessen the burden on his side, but they still have to play good cricket to win.On gains from this series, Streak said that the youngsters would have benefited from this experience of playing on Indian pitches. "The bowlers have learnt a lot how to bowl on these type of wickets, he said. He also praised the batting of Andy Flower and Alistair Campbell in this series. It is a good sign for us that these two have struck form at the right time with the two series down under ahead of us," he said.

The teams (from): India: Rahul Dravid (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, s Sriram, H Badani, V Dahiya, R S Sodhi, a Kapoor, A Agarkar, Sunil Joshi, Zaheer Khan, Vekatesh Prasad and V Sehwag.

Zimbabwe: Heath Streak (captain), A Campbell, T Madondo, SCarlisle, Andy Flower, Grant Flower, G Rennie, Brian Murphy, Brian Strang, Trevis Friend, D Viljoen, M Nakala and H Olonga. UNI

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