The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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India face second-string side
- Eight key players missing from Queensland line-up; Sachin and three others to be rested

Brisbane: India may not face a quality opposition in Queensland in their last tour match before the start of the first Test as the home side will be fielding a virtual academy team for the three-day game beginning here on Saturday.

The Indians, desperate to get their act together after their rather dismal showing versus Victoria in the tour opener, must be disappointed to see eight key players missing from the Queensland line-up.

The hosts are presently busy in their Pura Cup engagement against South Australia in Adelaide but the scheduling of the games, deliberate or otherwise, has left the tourists badly undone in their preparation.

Queensland will go into the match without Matthew Hayden, Andrew Bichel, Andrew Symonds, Michael Kasprowicz, Martin Love, Jimmy Maher, Nathan Hauritz and Stuart Law and a virtual Queensland academy of sport team will take on the tourists before the first Test begins at the Gabba on December 4.

However, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said his players would try to make the most of the match.

“First or second XI, we hope to get good practice from Queensland ahead of the Test,” Sourav said at the Gabba where the team practiced this afternoon.

“I hope we get good practice, we need good outing for our batsman and bowlers and this is what these side games are meant to be,” he said.

The Indians are keen to try out V. V. S. Laxman and Anil Kumble in this game as both missed the tie against Victoria due to flu.

Virender Sehwag gets another chance to restore his confidence before the first Test and Sourav and Rahul Dravid are keen to have some runs under their belt.

Sourav said among the four to sit out in this game will be Sachin Tendulkar.

“The four who will sit out in this game are Sachin (Tendulkar), Zaheer (Khan), Harbhajan (Singh) and Ashish (Nehra),” said Sourav. “The other 12 are up for selection.”

The Indians are terribly worried on the count of their bowling which is unlikely to be tested by the rookie Queensland line-up.

Just about the only batsman of some recognition Queensland have in their line-up is young Aaron Nye, 20, who was the leading run-scorer in Brisbane first grade last season with an aggregate of 918 runs.

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