Australia tops table after beating NZ - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia tops table after beating NZ

By Adam Cooper 05/11/2003 05:28:27 AM Comments (0)

Australia's one-day cricket side will rest easy in order to fully overcome their hectic early schedule in the tri-series tour of India.

Australia's two-wicket win over New Zealand on Monday in Pune was the fourth match in nine days and players were given off to recover and watch the Melbourne Cup at a breakfast function.

Thursday will also be a rest day to ensure the group will be fresh to start the build-up to Sunday's match against the Black Caps in the north-east city of Guwahati.

Australia is yet to outline its policy towards resting players, but with a place in the final almost guaranteed there is a good chance keeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist could sit out the next match with Queenslander Jimmy Maher to take his spot.

Fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz, who has overcome a strained muscle in his buttock, could also come into consideration to replace the out-of-sorts Andy Bichel.

But there is no rest for New Zealand. The Kiwis will need to win possibly all three of their remaining matches to reach the November 18 final, but must overcome the most taxing few days of their schedule.

New Zealand plays India in a day-night match in Cuttack on Thursday and will travel to Guwahati the following day.

Veteran Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble will miss Thursday's game due to the death of his father.

Cricket board secretary Karunakaran Nair said Bombay spinner Sairaj Bahutule was likely to replace Kumble.

Australia currently leads the tri-series table with three victories from four matches, followed by India (1/3) and New Zealand (0/3).

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