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Depleted India face tough warm-up against SL President's XI

Last updated on: July 12, 2010 18:01 IST

Injury worries for Team India



A depleted India will be thoroughly tested by Sri Lanka Cricket Board President's XI, which boasts of six players from the Test squad, in the three-day warm-up match, starting at the Colts Cricket Club in Colombo, on Tuesday.

India's pace bowling department is in disarray, with spearhead Zaheer Khan missing the tour because of a shoulder injury and speedster S Sreesanth being ruled out with a knee injury.

To make matters worse, star spinner Harbhajan Singh is also down with fever, though the offie is certain to play the three-match Test series, starting at Galle on July 18.

Image: MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar during a practice session in Colombo
Photographs: Reuters

Ishant would lead India's bowling attack

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Over the next three days, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men will be engaged in battle with a strong Board President's XI, which also has mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis though he is not named in the Sri Lankan squad for the first Test.

The presence of Dilhara Fernando, Chanaka Welegedara and Mendis renders a formidable look to the Board President's XI attack.

Their batting looks decent too, with Thilan Samaraweera, Upul Tharanga and Lahiru Thirimanne in the ranks to frustrate India's depleted attack.

In Zaheer's absence, his replacement, Abhimanyu Mithun, will fancy his chances of partnering Ishant Sharma, and the warm-up match should be a perfect dress rehearsal for the Karnataka rookie ahead of the Test series.

Image: Ishant Sharma during a practice session

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Ojha gets another chance


In the slow bowling department, the team management is unlikely to risk Harbhajan and instead expected to field both Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha before determining who should partner Harbhajan in the first Test.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Mendis with the hosts hoping he torments the Indian batsmen just like he had done two years ago.

With Muttiah Muralitharan retiring after the first Test, Mendis has a golden opportunity to stake his claim in the Sri Lankan squad for the second and third Tests and the warm-up match will be another occasion to impress the selectors about his ability.

Image: Pragyan Ojha

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