India to take on Oppenheimer XI in tour opener

Published: Sunday, September 30, 2001, 21:24 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Almost sure of a victory, the visiting Indian cricketers would nevertheless be wary of drawing too many conclusions from its tour opening match against Nicky Oppenheimer XI set at mining families' private ground at Randjesfontein on Monday. This traditional opening fixture of the South African season is more of a social rather than a cricketing ocassion, full of niceties and laced with old-world charm, where a handful of select invitees are treated to a private show of skills by the visiting team. It is easy to see how this fixture of unfurling the cricket season has become a tradition in South Africa. Much of it is inspired by practice in England and Australia, who stage their own versions of such games in Norfolk XI and Prime Minister's XI respectively, and who along with South Africa is three oldest Test playing nations. The choice for India in this match is to either try out its possible eleven ahead of the sterner battles or to give the fringe players a chance to get into the swing of things. There should be little doubt about India's chances to win the game even with reserves, though the desire to check out on the form and fitness of the main stars would be too tempting for skipper Saurav Ganguly to ignore. Extras:
Indian team given unprecedented security cover
Present Indians feel better prepared for SA

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