Key players rested for Ind, SL 'A' tie

India will rest some of their key players when they take on Sri Lanka 'A' in a three-day practice match on Friday.

updated: August 07, 2007 17:25 IST
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Having taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match cricket Test series against England, India will rest some of their key players when they take on Sri Lanka 'A' in a three-day practice match on Friday.

The Indians are likely to go into the match without big guns like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Zaheer Khan apart from promising left-arm seamer R P Singh so that they get enough rest before the third Test gets underway at the Oval from August 9.

The match will assume importance for players like Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma, Ranadeb Bose, Gautam Gambhir, Ramesh Powar who have not played a single game in the series.

They will be keen to grab the opportunity and prove their worth keeping the one-day series in mind.

The morale-boosting seven-wicket win in Nottingham has put India on course for a rare overseas series win and the team management will be eager to ensure that most of the players get some useful practice before moving to London for the final Test.

The form and also the on-field behaviour of S Sreesanth has been a worrying factor for the team and the young Kerala paceman will be looking to rediscover his rhythm in the match.

Bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad has already started working with him and the talented bowler needs to focus on his bowling instead of going overboard with his antics.

Only seven members of the squad - captain Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Wasim Jaffer, Yuvraj Singh, Ranadeb Bose, Ishant Sharma and Ramesh Powar - turned up for the optional practice session on Thursday while the others preferred to take rest.

The venue has some pleasant memories for the Indians.

It was the same ground where a grieving Tendulkar scored a century against Kenya during the 1999 World Cup after his father's demise.

While the Indian youngsters are gearing up to walk into the middle, rain poses the biggest threat for their build-up for the final Test.

The morning witnessed a slight drizzle and the sky remained cloudy throughout the day, raising fears of rain interruptions during the match.