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India may opt to go in with two spinners

Sourav Ganguly hinted he would deploy two spinners to unsettle the spin-shy South Africans in the second match of the TVS Cup.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2003 21:35 IST

Indian captain Sourav Gangulyon Saturdayhinted he would deploy two specialist spinners to unsettle the spin-shy South Africans in the second match of the TVS Cup triangular series here on Sunday.

"We may go in for two spinners because the South Africans are a little vulnerable to spin. We have to capitalise on that," Ganguly said on the eve of the day-night encounter which he described as the "real test" for his young side.

Since all the fast bowlers were impressive in the first match against Bangladesh yesterday picking all but one wicket between them, the Indians could drop a batsman to accomodate the additional spinner which could either be recalled off-spinner Sarandeep Singh or uncapped leggie Amit Mishra.

Ganguly emphasised he was keen to try out all the new players during the tournament and see how they perform. "It is necessary to give these new players an opportunity. We need to have the back-up players and we can only test them by giving them the chance to play."

The Indian skipper said the youngsters had the potential to succeed at the highest level and their confidence will only grow when they start doing well.

Ganguly said he believes in giving players enough opportunities to prove their worth and made it clear that he will persist with Delhi opener Gautam Gambhir though he failed in his debut match against Bangladesh which India won by an emphatic 200-run margin.

"It will be unfair to drop him after one match. He needs a few more matches to settle down."

Ganguly was impressed by the performance of the other debutant Avishkar Salvi but said it was too early to judge him.

Salvi returned impressive figures of 7-1-15-2 and picked his maiden one-day international wicket in the very first over.

"He did it against Bangladesh though his real test will come against South Africa. But I am sure he will keep up the good work," the elegant left hander said.

The South African captain Graeme Smith was not unduly worried about India's spin threat, saying his young team was ready to face the challenge.

The 22-year-old Smith, the youngest South Afrian captain till date and the second youngest ever, said his team had a few talented pacemen and spinners to be able to put the Indians under pressure.

"Our aim will be to try and take control of the game early and put the Indians under some pressure."

Smith, who is excited about leading the team for the first time, said he had not worked out any special strategy for any particular player.

"We just have to go there and play positive cricket. We have to be prepared to face all kind of situations," he said.

The Indians decided to take rest today while the South Africans had a light practice session under floodlights at the Bangabandhu Stadium here.

Both the teams will announce their playing eleven on Sunday after having a close look at the pitch.

First Published: Apr 12, 2003 21:35 IST