Cricket World Cup 2011
Tendulkar back for India
Sachin Tendulkar (AFP)
Chennai - Sachin Tendulkar will face New Zealand in a Cricket World Cup warm-up on Wednesday and pace bowler Zaheer Khan will be fit for India's tournament opener, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Tuesday.
Tendulkar was rested for the warmup victory over Australia on Sunday, a game which Khan also missed with a groin strain.
Dhoni said on Tuesday that Tendulkar will bat against New Zealand in Chennai and Khan's injury was "nothing to worry about" and would not prevent him playing against Bangladesh in Saturday's opener in Dhaka.
India's captain also called on his side to show more "intensity" against New Zealand after Sunday's labored win, which was secured by some sparkling spin bowling rather than with the bat.
India was all out for 214 in 45 overs but dismissed Australia for 176 in 38.
Asked about the powerful middle order failing to fire, Dhoni said, "We needed a good partnership in the middle but that did not happen. However, the lower order clicked. The score of 215 was not big. But our spinners bowled very well and we won in the end.
"We have to pick up a bit of intensity and this will be evident on the field on Wednesday."
He expected a good match with the Black Caps.
"New Zealand have always been a very contributive side and they always don't depend on any one particular batsman or one particular bowler to win the game," he said. "What they need is everyone to contribute."
As for the tournament opener against Bangladesh, Dhoni said the lineup will depend on the Dhaka pitch. He expected dew, which covered the field the last time they were there, just over a year ago.