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Uncertainty prevails over Kumble's participation

A cloud of doubt was still hanging over Anil Kumble's participation as the Indian skipper said a final call will be taken only before the start of the match tomorrow.

cricket Updated: Oct 16, 2008 16:49 IST

A cloud of doubt was still hanging over Anil Kumble's participation in the second Test against Australia as the Indian skipper said a final call will be taken only before the start of the match on Friday.

Kumble, who injured his shoulder in the Bangalore Test, said he was feeling better but a final decision would be taken tomorrow on whether he would play the match or skip it.

"It's better but we'll take a call tomorrow. It's still 24 hours before the start of the match. We'll see how it responds," Kumble told reporters.

"It's lot better than what it was yesterday," he added.

The Test captain has fond memories of the venue where he has met easy success and Kumble said he was looking forward to roll his arm again.

"I've enjoyed bowling here and have a few landmarks as well. Hopefully my shoulder will be okay to get there when I take a call tomorrow," he said.

The cloud of doubt over his fitness has also affected team think-tank's planning for the match and Kumble said they would arrive at a combination only after having a look at the track and assessing his fitness.

"It all would depend on how the pitch looks tomorrow morning. What we saw yesterday was pretty dry but we cannot decide (team combination) it at this point of time. We have to take a look at the track tomorrow morning and then take a final call.

"I have to see how I go and then take a call, we have not decided on the combination yet," he added.

Steady drizzle has left lot of moisture in the track but Kumble did not foresee any change in the trend and predicted a run-feast in Mohali.

"It looks very good batting surface. Everytime we played here, India put big scores. This is a good opportunity for our batters. Every batsman looked good in the last game and it's a great opportunity for them," he said.

"Mohali always has something for everyone, not just only the fast bowlers. Of course pacers enjoys the early half of the match but the batters get lot of runs too because the ball comes nicely onto the bat. There is enough bounce, not much spin though, for spinners to come into play as well.

"This time maybe because of the rain Mohali has had in the last week or so that it might take little time to settle down. It might be on the slower side," he reckoned.

Kumble also expects his batsmen to capitalise on Australia's thin spin resource in the match.

"I think this is surely something we can look at. They obviously miss the quality of Shane Warne or Stuart MacGill and in Indian conditions, you definitely need a spinner to come into play, if not in the first innings certainly in the second. That is something we look to cash in on...I'm confident our batters would join the party, Kumble said.

Even though the Indian batsmen did not score truckloads of runs in Bangalore, Kumble said theirs was a commendable effort, considering the pressure on the side.

"All of them looked good in Bangalore. I think it's just a matter of time before they score big. Looking at the history of Test matches here, teams have scored big runs in Mohali and that's something all the batters looking forward to. Next five days I'm sure you'll see our batsmen doing well," Kumble said.

On Sachin Tendulkar approaching yet another milestone, Kumble said each team-member was keen to see him score those 15 runs and overtake Brian Lara as the highest Test run accumulator.

"Sachin is such a great player, we all would love him to get there as early as possible. And I'm sure he'll get it here," Kumble said.

"It'll be very special not just for the Sachin but world cricket and Indian cricket. To have an Indian right at the top is a great honour for all of us.

"To have shared the dressing room and seen him scoring every run sitting inside dressing room and sometime out there on the other side is a fantastic feeling. I'm sure it will happen soon. A lot of people waiting for that and I hope he gets a big score here," Kumble added.