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India eye three-seamer option

Having learnt their lessons from the Australian mauling in the first 15 overs, India hinted of going into the tri-series final with three pacemen.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2003 01:17 IST

India might opt for three seamers on Tuesday. "We have not really bowled well against the Aussies in this tri-series and there is thus a good chance of including three pace bowlers in the playing XI tomorrow," India skipper Sourav Ganguly said on Monday on the eve of the TVS Cup final at the Eden Gardens.

He sounded confident about playing on Tuesday. "I am okay now. I am recovering fast and there is no real chance of me not playing," the southpaw said. He was, however, not that confident about his bowling chances.

"I will have to undergo a fitness test tomorrow morning under team physio Andrew Leipus and I am still not very sure whether I will be able to bowl or not."

Zaheer Khan has been ruled fit and bowled wicket to wicket under the watchful eyes of coach John Wright. The two later had a long discussion with Ganguly during practice in the afternoon.

Ganguly was satisfied with the wicket. "It is well-prepared and well-rolled also," indicating possibility of high scores. However, the skipper felt the side batting first might not get any added advantage as the evening dew will make it difficult for the bowlers to grip the wet ball.

Asked about the possible competition on Tuesday, Ganguly said, "I think we two are the best in one-day cricket now and thus can say it will be a contest between two right sides."

The Indian team had a more than three hours' practice session at the Gardens starting with playing volleyball, stretching and then batting and fielding practice.

Ponting and his mates are looking forward to Tuesday's TVS Cup final.

"When I went out to toss with Sourav (Ganguly) in Bangalore he told me that if India make the final there would be 120,000 people watching (90,000 would be a more accurate estimate).

When I told the boys that, they all got excited. I know it'll be a hostile crowd in the sense that there won't be too many supporting Australia but we know how to keep them quiet," he said.

“It's a big game, a new challenge," Ponting said. And though it is possible that they would stress on seam bowlers, Ponting said the playing XI would only be named on Tuesday. "Everybody is fit and available for selection and that makes our job very hard.

Asked about the positives from this trip, Ponting said: "The fast bowlers - (Nathan) Bracken, (Brad) Williams and even (Michael) Kasprowicz - have done really well.

Gilli's (Adam Gilchrist) batting at the top of the order too has been fantastic. And the more opportunity Clarkey (Michael Clarke) gets, the better he is going to be.”

First Published: Nov 17, 2003 17:45 IST