India's number one Test tag at stake in 2nd Test against SA | cricket | Hindustan Times
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India's number one Test tag at stake in 2nd Test against SA

A desperate India cannot settle for anything less than a victory when they go into the second and final test match against South Africa with their number one ranking at stake.

cricket Updated: Feb 13, 2010 17:12 IST

A desperate India cannot settle for anything less than a victory when they go into the second and final test match against South Africa with their number one ranking at stake.

Having crushed India by an innings and six runs in the first Test in Nagpur, South Africa lead the two-match series 1-0 and they just need a draw at the Eden Gardens to snatch the top spot in the ICC rankings from the hosts.

South Africans might have to take the field without inspirational captain Graeme Smith.

Smith has been rendered a doubtful starter because of a finger injury he sustained during practice on Friday and a final call on his availability will be taken on Sunday.

With both the series and their Test ranking at stake, India have been bolstered by the return of VVS Laxman, who is all set to make a comeback at his happy-hunting ground where he scored a 281 in the second innings to script an epochal turn-around in their Test against Australia in March 2001.

In the absence of Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh due to injuries, Laxman, who is back after recovering from a finger injury, will form Indian batting's backbone along with the ever-reliable trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.