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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

India face spin dilemma against England

N. Ananthanarayanan | February 25, 2003 11:14 IST

India are uncertain whether to bring back leg spinner Anil Kumble for their World Cup Group A match against England on Wednesday.

India's highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals has not played in his side's last two games, but could come into his own on a bouncy Kingsmead pitch against an England team perceived to be weak against spin.

"There are many batsmen who are susceptible to both Kumble and Harbhajan Singh and England are no different," India coach John Wright told reporters during a training session.

"But it is always a tough decision. You have to look at the balance of the team and, if you decide to go with one spinner, which one do you go with."

Kumble, one of only five bowlers to have claimed at least 300 wickets in one-day internationals with a haul of 308, is not a big turner of the ball and relies mostly on bounce and subtle variations.

He took four for 32 against Netherlands and snapped up the only wicket during India's nine-wicket defeat by Australia at Centurion.

But Kumble has not played in the last two matches against Zimbabwe and Namibia, off-spinner Harbhajan having been included as the sole frontline spinner.

Former New Zealand captain Wright expects Wednesday's game to be a close affair, despite India's recent successes over England.

India have won six of their last 10 one-day meetings, including last year's triangular series final at Lord's, where they chased down 326 to score a thrilling two-wicket victory, and a Champions Trophy league game in Colombo in September.

"We know them and they know us," said Wright. "But the Durban wicket will be a bit different from other South African wickets and it will all depend on how both sides adapt."

India are familiar with the conditions at Kingsmead, having been based in Durban before the start of the tournament.

They have also done their homework on impressive young fast bowler James Anderson, who took four for 29 in England's shock 112-run victory over Pakistan in Cape Town on Saturday.

"You can't really say until you face him in the middle," said Wright. "But we have a few batsmen who can put pressure on any bowler if they settle down."

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Number of User Comments: 14

Sub: Kumble should play

It is imperative that Kumble plays as he has big match experience and India will need him in the crunch game against England.

Posted by Ganesh Ratnam

Sub: no more kumble plz...

its high time kumble take a rest from world cricket. im modern era where tecnology is ruling the world al players and teams are putting ...

Posted by suresh


I think its better to bring back Kumble into the attack.He would bowl well under pressure and so far,his preformance in this WC is above ...

Posted by Neema

Sub: No Kumble

I don't think Kumble is required, as we have handy spinners like, Sehwag, Mongia, Yuvraj, Sachin. Instead we should take, Agarkar or Bangar who are ...

Posted by SAS

Sub: kumble will be needed

i feel anil should be back in place of nehra as bhe can exploit the bouncy conditions very well.If india were to go with one ...

Posted by manoj


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