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There was a surprise package at the Indian nets session on Tuesday. As Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir walked into the first two nets, the third one was occupied by Zaheer Khan. No, he wasn’t running in to bowl, the left arm pacer had decided to have a long batting session under the watchful eyes of Coach Gary Kirten. The bowlers were fresh and bowling at good speed and Zaheer was working very hard on his batting.

And that too, after skipper M S Dhoni had declared that the left-armer won’t play Wednesday’s practice game against New Zealand due to a mild groin strain.

“It’s a very mild strain but there’s nothing to be scared about, but there’s no doubt about the fact that he will be part of the playing X1 against Bangladesh on Saturday,” Dhoni said.

The team management wants to see Zaheer taking more responsibility with his batting, more so after Praveen Kumar was ruled out of the World Cup. No doubt Zaheer Khan is a key player in the coming World Cup.

India played an outstanding practice match at Chennai and defeated New Zealand by 117 runs, details given below:India scored-360 for five wickets in 50 over, the top scorer, MS Dhoni-108 by [64 balls] with 11 fours and 3 sixers, not out, Raina-50 by 25 balls, Gambhir-89 and Virat Kohli-59. Openers performed not satisfactory, Sehwag-23, and Tendulkar-17, but order stormed N Z.

N Z started opening very sound and the first wicket down at 95 runs, but unfortunate disqualification of B Mc Cullum run-out at 58 proved turning pt of the game and India smashed N Z at 243 and won the consecutive second practice match at Chennai, giving great morals to the fighting squad of coming World Cup from 19th February 2011.

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