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Team India retain winning combination

The two teams will clash again in the final Test to be played in Mumbai from March 18.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2006 19:45 IST

The national selectorson Mondayretained the winning combination for the third and final cricket Test against England starting in Mumbai from March 18.

Chairman of Selectors Kiran More said the performance of each player during the second Test which India won by nine wickets was such that it did not warrant any changes in the squad.

"We are looking at the team balance, which appears fine at the moment. We don't believe in making changes (just for the sake of it)," he said after a meeting of the National Selection Committee here.

More said the competition in the side for the fast bowling slot had intensified with Munaf Patel coming good in this match.

"We tried Munaf as we did not want to take chances with Sreesanth, who was not 100 per cent fit. We feared he might break down if we made him play here. We have enough options now and the guy who is in the best form will play in Mumbai," he said.

About Munfaf, More said the 22-year old from Bharuch, Gujarat, has been outstanding this season with 88 first-class wickets.

"He can bowl quick, has a good yorker and can also reverse swing the ball," he said.

More said debutant leg spinner Piyush Chawla also did well in whatever limited chance he got to bowl.

"He did not get enough bowling which is normal if you are playing with five bowlers. But he did not bowl that badly. In fact, I was quite impressed with him," he said about Aligarh-born Chawla who got one wicket in the match.

More praised the way Anil Kumble bowled in the match and also was supportive of off spinner Harbhajan Singh who also finished with just one wicket.

The former India stumper said the name of off-spinner Ramesh Powar also came up for discussion in the meeting, but since the squad already had enough spin options, he was not considered.

Asked what had prompted the team management to call promising fast bowler Abid Nabi and VRV Singh to bowl in the nets, he said, "VRV is a local guy so we decided to call him and check on his fitness. As far as Abid is concerned, I had not seen him bowl although the other selectors had seen him. We wanted to see his fitness and his bowling. He has good potential."

In the same breath, he singled out Amit Mishra and Naman Ojha as promising prospects for the future.

More said although India went into the match with five bowlers, it did not mean that it would be tried every time.

"Going with five bowlers does give the captain more oppurtunities."

Squad: Rahul Dravid (captain), Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, Sachin Tendulkar, V V S Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Rudra Pratap Singh, Piyush Chawla.