Indian names missing

Although India will be tough opposition for the BLACKCAPS in tonight's ODI at Bulawayo, some notable names are missing from the squad.

Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar is still out with injury, while VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble and Zaheer Khan are surprise omissions.

The three were dropped after the recent tri-series with Sri Lanka and the West Indies. India lost the final of that competition to hosts Sri Lanka in late July.

That followed the 4-2 series loss to Pakistan, which signalled the end of former BLACKCAP John Wright's reign as Indian coach.

Despite their recent record and exclusion of some well known players, the Indians will pose a serious threat to the BLACKCAPS. Their batting line-up in particular is extremely strong. Although Tendulkar is missing, it still includes world-class players Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

The match will be a good indication of how far the BLACKCAPS have come since their 5-0 loss to Australia earlier this year. With Shane Bond, Jacob Oram and Scott Styris all available, the New Zealanders are now a far more formidable opposition, as Zimbabwe have recently discovered.

The BLACKCAPS 12 for tonight are: Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Lou Vincent, Hamish Marshall, Craig McMillan, Scott Styris, Chris Cairns, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori (v captain), Andre Adams, Shane Bond

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