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'The wicket will slow down as the game progresses'

Last updated on: November 14, 2012 15:14 IST

The Indian seam attack was conspicuous by its absence during the final practice session ahead of the first Test against England, at Motera, beginning Thursday.

- India hoping to spin England out of Test series

While Ishant Sharma skipped practice a day earlier as well, leading the team think-tank to get Ashok Dinda on as a standby, both Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav did not turn up to bowl on Wednesday.

Asked about the situation, captain M S Dhoni was forthcoming.

"Ishant (Sharma) has got viral," he said, adding, "He has not recovered and won't play.

MS Dhoni"But Zaheer, Umesh and all the others are doing fine and will be available for selection."

With the pace arsenal weakened, coupled with England's perceived weakness against the turning ball, Dhoni was asked if there was a possibility of Team India going into the match with three spinners.

"If we get a wicket like Kanpur -- where India beat South Africa in 2008 to square the series -- we might go in with four spinners as well," said the captain, refraining from giving a concrete response. He was though categorical when it came to his views on the wicket.

"It looks like a good wicket at the moment and is on the drier side," explained Dhoni.

"But it seems they have changed the soil and the wicket will slow down as the game progresses and spinners will get assistance," he continued, adding, "Hopefully there will be some reverse swing for the quick bowlers as well."

The captain stressed the need of bowlers attacking as a unit.

"All the players will have to play a crucial role," he said. "We have to attack as a unit and the contribution of the part-timers will be important," he added.

Dhoni also refused to dub the series as 'revenge'.

"I know the fact that when the two teams go out to the field tomorrow they will be there to play a Test match," he explained.

"You can call it a revenge match or whatever you like," he added.