India looking at three-spinner option

India may opt to go into the second cricket Test against Australia with a three-pronged spin attack.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:09 IST
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Chennai:Having been thoroughly outplayed in the Bangalore, India may opt to go into the second cricket Test against Australia with a three-pronged spin attack and also reshuffle its top order batting by promoting Yuvraj Singh as opener. Yuvraj's promotion as an opener would mean Mohammad Kaif would be brought in the middle order while opener Aakash Chopra would have to sit out. "Mohammad Kaif is almost sure in the eleven and Yuvraj Singh will be promoted to opening slot while Chopra is unlikely in the eleven," Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly said on the eve of the match here at the Chepauk. Ganguly said he would discuss the matter with the selectors who would have a final say on any changes in the team. Spin attack Asked specifically if he was planning to go into the match with three spinners and two pacemen, he said, "at present we are thinking on these lines. You cannot rule that out (fielding three spinners) in Chennai. "The heat will make the wicket look a completely different one tomorrow morning. If the surface changes tomorrow, may be we will go for it," he said. Ganguly felt the spinners would get extra bounce from the wicket which he said would behave quite differently from the one at Bangalore. "The pitch is not like Bangalore, there will be bounce in it here. This is a better surface. Here, the wicket will last a bit more. I don't think the toss will be as crucial -- it would not be a decisive aspect in a team's performance. It would all depend on how we play on all the five days." Sachin missed Ganguly said the team missed the services of Sachin Tendulkar but his absence should not be made as an excuse for poor performance. "Obviously, we missed Sachin. Whichever team he plays for and if he is not there, the team will definitely miss him. But if he is not playing, the rest of the guys should stand up and perform. "As far as I know he should be fit for the third Test in Nagpur. That is what I have come to know from the physio. But it is a different sort of injury." Asked whether Tendulkar's absence had affected the performance of the team in Bangalore, Ganguly said, "it is difficult to say but the overall lack of performance by the key batsmen had affected the result in Bangalore." On whether the batsmen were finding it difficult to negotiate the incoming deliveries, he said he could not understand this theory as a batsman needed to face all kinds of balls in Test cricket. "I do not understand this theory of incoming and outgoing balls. Once you play at this level, you need to play both types of deliveries. "It is not the first time that our batsmen are playing balls that are coming into them. They are successful batsmen, they are not newcomers. They have to think positive and stay confident and it will turn around in their favour," Ganguly said. Focus on batting The skipper said it was imperative for his team to bat well if it nurtured any hopes of levelling the four-match series in Chennai. "I have been saying throughout that we have to bat well. to win Test matches we have to put up 400 runs in the first innings on the board. Possibly 350 or 400 will ideal on this track. But we will have to look to do that." Ganguly also said the team was not downcast after the reversal in the first Test. "The mood is upbeat and there is a lot of cricket left in the series. We have won a Test series after being 1-0 down, I am pretty much sure that the players have realised that it is high time that they start scoring runs. The guys are pretty keen to achieve their goal." Asked to comment on role being played by Sunil Gavaskar, the captain said, "he is helping us out. He is trying to work together with John Wright, who is the main guy. We have had Bruce Reid as our coach for bowling in the past. This time we thought we could have somebody who could help us in batting." (PTI)

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