The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rain may ruin tie

Auckland: India’s hopes of getting a winning run ahead of the World Cup stand threatened with persistent rains on the eve of the sixth one-day International.

The visitors broke their dismal losing streak on the tour with a win in the fifth one-dayer at Wellington and were keen to clinch the remaining two.

But it has rained ceaselessly over the last few days and the game getting off to a start looks remote. The forecast for Sunday (reserve day) isn’t too good either.

In fact, Hamilton, the venue for the seventh game Tuesday, has also been experiencing heavy rains, and it is a possibility that India have played their last game on tour.

Though the series loss was the worst preparation, Sourav Ganguly said the team has not lost confidence and will put up a better show in the World Cup.

“Every team passes through such a phase. There are ups and downs in every sport but the important thing is to be able to come back,” he said.

A few Indians had an indoor practice session Friday. Sourav, Rahul Dravid, Sanjay Bangar, Mohammed Kaif and Dinesh Mongia decided to use the indoor nets at Eden Park to work out on their batting.

“It’s always hard when you haven’t scored runs. But one has to keep going because it’s a matter of just one innings,” Sourav said.

The New Zealanders, on the other hand, are not a fully settled unit, with injuries to a few key players being a serious concern.

Nathan Astle has been sidelined due to a knee injury while allrounder Jacob Oram is out with a broken finger.

Despite the wins, the New Zealand batsmen have also not been in the best of form and captain Stephen Fleming admitted that was an area of concern.

Teams (from)

India: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Mongia, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Sanjay Bangar, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Ashish Nehra, Javagal Srinath, Parthiv Patel, Rakesh Patel

New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (captain), Matthew Sinclair, Lou Vincent, Chris Harris, Chris Cairns, Scott Styris, Brendon McCullum, Andre Adams, Daniel Vettori, Daryl Tuffey, Shane Bond, Kyle Mills

Umpires: Daryl Harper (Australia) and Brent Bowden (New Zealand)

Third umpire: Tony Hill (New Zealand).

Hours of play: 6:40 am to 10:10 am and 10:50 till close.

n Allrounders excite Stephen Fleming: Page 18

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