India looking for extra push at Eden

Updated on Mar 15, 2005 07:54 PM IST

But predictions of inclement skies over Kolkata in the next few days have cast a shadow on the 2nd Test.

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PTI | BySirshendu Panth (PTI), Kolkata

After failing to translate a definite advantage into victory in the series opener, India go into the second cricket Test beginning on Wednesday looking for that elusive extra push to put it across arch-rivals Pakistan, who appear more confident after coming back from the brink at Mohali.

The disappointment of not being able to polish off the Pakistani lower order in quick time on the final day of the Test despite being in the driver's seat all through the first four days must be rankling Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, though he claimed that the visitors would not gain any psychological edge despite their match-saving fightback.

Ganguly would also be worried about the weather forecast in the next few days. The met office prediction of inclement skies over the next few days have cast a shadow over the match.

The probability of norwesters, so common in the city during this time of the year, and the development of a trough of low pressure in the vicinity, have resulted in the met office warning of rains, thereby making the organisers a worried lot.

But what seems to be occupying the Indian team management's mind is the bowling combination, with coach John Wright already indicating that the side would revert to a two pacers, two spinners formula by reinducting offie Harbhajan Singh in the first eleven.

Harbhajan was kept out of the final team at Mohali, when the Indian selectors included three pacers, with leg spinner Anil Kumble carrying the entire load of slow bowling.

As the Eden wicket traditionally offers assistance to spinners at a later stage, the Indian think-tank seems to be taking into account Harbhajan's fabulous strike rate here inclusive of a hat-trick against Steve Waugh's world beating Australians in 2001.

With Wright virtually ruling out a five-pronged bowling attack on Monday, it could be a toss-up between medium pacers Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan, with Lakshmipathy Balaji sitting pretty following his nine wicket haul in the first Test.

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