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Injuries may prove costly in second Test

cricket Updated: Oct 08, 2010 15:18 IST

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High on confidence after the thrilling win in the series-opener but ravaged by injuries, India take on Australia in what promises to be another high-voltage battle in the second and final cricket Test in Bangalore on Saturday.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men, fresh from the one-wicket win in the opening Test in Mohali, go into the match with a psychological edge but many injury problems to deal with.

The Indians would be seeking to wrap up the Test series and prevent the mighty Australians from clinching a Test win on Indian soil in six years but being a depleted side could turn the tide against them. The Indians would be without key stars such as opener Gautam Gambhir and pacer Ishant Sharma, who had just about rediscovered some lost form when he was laid low by a knee injury in the opening Test.

The hero of last match's narrow triumph, VVS Laxman is also doubtful starter due to back spasms as he has not practiced for two days now. "Laxman is much better now compared to what he was, though he did not practice today also. But we would love to have him in the playing XI. Of course, we need time to decide because it's a longer format," said Dhoni.

Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund, who performed well in the recently held Irani Trophy tournament, and Jaydev Unadkat have been included in the team in place of Gambhir and Ishant but it remains to be seen whether they would actually find a place in the playing XI. With the track once again seeming to be on the slower side, stroke-making would be difficult as the match progresses.

As was evident the last time these teams had played year in October 2008, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh would have a big role to play in the match. Their pride hurt, the Australians would pull out all stops to turn the tables on the Indians after letting slip a game which was well within their grasp on at least the first four days. "They will come back strongly in the second Test. That is there culture and also they do not give up easily. We are prepared equally and ready to face the task," Dhoni said.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting would be looking up to his batsmen to rise to the occasion for the tourists to square the two-match series.