Tuesday, March 10, 2009

INDIA VS NEWZELAND 4th ODI :India sans Tendulkar set to wrap up ODI series

 An injured Sachin Tendulkar will be missed as India go into the fourth cricket One-Dayer against New Zealand here on Wednesday, confident of being able to wrap up the series by taking an invincible 3-0 lead.Tendulkar, who has been in superb form, has been ruled out of the match due an abdomen injury but the visitors have the batting might to still get past the Kiwis who have no option but to win the match to stay afloat in the series.The MRI scan done on India's premier batsman has revealed internal bleeding in his stomach."I had stiffness in the region before the third ODI, but I had stretched myself too far. But I should be ready to play in a couple of days time," Tendulkar said.Considering the momentum the Indians have gained since the debacle in the Twenty20 series, the Blackcaps would have to produce something more than their best to stop the marauding visitors at the Seddon Park tomorrow.If they succeed, Vettori's men would have served notice as another potential match-winning unit to be reckoned with in the future.Mahendra Singh Dhoni's troops have been playing a sort of firebrand cricket as there is self-belief, confidence and camaraderie.In the past, Indians were regarded as paper tigers on tours. But now they are stalking and devouring national team wherever they travel, be it to the antipodes, the African bushveld, Old Blighty or the Caribbean Indian cricket has never been so good, so consistent and so dominating. The results have been remarkably encouraging over the last two years or so.

The Kiwis would take comfort from the fact that Tendulkar, who had aggravated an abdomen injury during his delightful 163 before he retired hurt at Christchurch, would be rested.However, the return of Ishant Sharma, who should replace Munaf Patel, will lend more thrust to the Indian attack, which seemed to wilt under the early and late Kiwi onslaught in the third ODI at Christchurch.

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