Kumble fighting to be fit for finals
Match-winning leg-spinner Anil Kumble has had a glorious summer in Australia and he is keen to do his bit in the cricket tri-series finals against Australia.Updated: Jan 30, 2004 16:22 IST
Match-winning leg-spinner Anil Kumble has had a glorious summer in Australia and he is keen to do his bit in the cricket tri-series finals against Australia as well but he appears to be racing against time.
Team physio Andrew Leipus, in his medical jargon, underplayed the extent of concern on Kumble's fitness but manager Shivlal Yadav did not think the leg-spinner should be risked in the finals.
"He needs rest and it is unlikely we would risk him in the finals in view of India's coming engagements," said Yadav in the nets on Friday.
Leipus expressed horror at the mention of "surgery" on Kumble's famous shoulder but said "he is not going to play for now".
Leipus said Kumble's right shoulder would prevent him from throwing in the field though he was absolutely fine and has no problem in bowling.
"He is not going to play for now. Bowling would not be a problem but he cannot throw at the moment and you can't really hide it in one-day cricket."
Leipus said a scan had been done on Kumble which showed "small strain" in rotator cuff as well as soreness in the same area.
"There are a couple of things going in there. We have had a scan done which shows a small strain in the rotator cuff as well as a chronic mild (soreness) in the same area which is because of the bowling he has done through the summer," said Leipus.
"We think the cuff has been strained through the increased amount of throwing in one-day cricket."
Leipus said Kumble hurt himself and was feeling weak after the Brisbane match against Australia on January 18.
"He did knock himself down in the shoulder, he was complaining of pain and weakness after that Brisbane match.
"To settle it down nicely now, he needs a bit of rest and treatment and rehab. He would not let anyone down. So we are just playing it day by day -- he is pain free at the moment."
Kumble did take part in the nets on Friday at WACA and though he did not bowl, he participated in the throwing session at stumps, preferring to hurl his returns underarm so as not to hurt his shoulder.
Kumble was the stand-out bowler for India in the Tests, snarling 24 wickets in three games and all but won the series for the tourists.
Also missing from the nets was vice-captain Rahul Dravid but it was not because of any fitness issue.
Coach John Wright said Dravid said he tends to get dehyderated after he plays long innings and he was seeing a specialist in Perth who would advice him the right "fluids" to keep him going through long hours at crease.
"Dravid has played a lot of long innings this summer and like it happens whenever he bats long, he gets de-hyderated. He is seeing a specialist who would suggest him fluids (to battle through those periods)," said Wright.
Tendulkar batted at the nets, and so did Virender Sehwag, as the two openers sought to shake off the rustiness of recent days which they have spent on bench because of ankle and shoulder injury respectively.
Tendulkar squared up to Laxmipathy Balaji in the early part of his nets before regaining his poise and Sehwag too seemed intent on just stroking a few balls along the ground.
The Little Master closed his session by knocking a few around without a helmet on his head -- a rare sight for the great man never lifts a bat without a headgear in place.
Bruce Reid, the former Australian left-arm fast bowler, joined the Indians in the nets on Friday to resume his job of bowling coach and concentrated a great deal on Balaji and Amit Bhandari, even asking the computer analyst to videotape their action for remedial action afterwards.
Captain Sourav Ganguly had an extended batting session for himself, testing himself out against short-pitched deliveries on concrete in search for that batting form which produced that marvellous hundred at Gabba in the first Test.
First Published: Jan 30, 2004 16:22 IST