Tendulkar all set for T20 tie, Ponting not to play
Posted on: 10:06 PM IST Jan 31, 2008
New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar is all set for the Twenty20 match when world champions India take on Australia in an one-off match in Melbourne on Friday with the visitors keen to maintain their their supremacy in the shortest format of the game.
India go into the match with the psychological advantage of having beaten the Aussies twice before and also the absence of captain Ricky Ponting, who is unlikely to play the match to rest his painful back.
"I've been pretty much flat on my back for the last couple of days, just trying to give myself the best chance to recover," Ponting said on Thursday.
In the absence of Ponting, Michael Clarke will lead the side at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
With the Harbhajan Singh racial issue having been sorted out, the focus will be back on cricket but the Indians can expect a fierce backlash from the Australians who have been quite livid with the developments in the last two days.
But the Indians are quite prepared to counter the home team with a number of younger players joining the team for the tri-series, leaving Tendulkar to be the only veteran player in the squad.
Tendulkar, who had opted out of the last year's Twenty20 World Cup to give chance to youngsters, has been in great from since setting foot on Australian soil and will be keen to carry the momentum into Twenty20 game and the subsequent tri-series.
The other senior players like Test team captain Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman have returned home to give way to the youngsters.
The presence of the youngsters will no doubt raise the fielding standard of the team but they have to quickly acclimatise to the conditions here.
While Twenty20 star Yuvraj Singh is out of action for a couple of matches owing to his knee injury, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik and Suresh Raina will get the opportunity to prove their worth, depending who gets the chance to be in the playing XI.