Suspence looms over Kumble's injury as India look to square series

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Kanpur, Apr 10 (UNI) Even as the hosts claim to be confident of squarring the series, suspence continues to grow over the fitness of Team India skipper Anil Kumble with just a day left for the crucial third Test against South Africa that begins at the Green Park stadium here tomorrow.

Kumble, who sounded confident, said after the practice session here that they will play 'good cricket' and will certainly go for an outright win to square the series.

''We have been in similar situations several times and Team India had always performed well when they are pushed to the wall,'' he said adding ''recently in Australia, the team jumped back after losing a Test.'' Without disclosing anything about the game plan, Kumble said, ''a final decision about his fitness would be taken tomorrow morning when the final XI would also be announced.'' The captain, who also bowled in the practice session, hoped to get better and in the evening, the team members and the management will sit to chalk out the strategy.

However, he added that pacers Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth were totally fit for tomorrow's match.

Commenting on the controversy raging around the pitch, Kumble said, ''it seems that it was a 'sporting' wicket and we hope to give our best.'' ''Bowlers should exploit the conditions by taking early wickets while the batsmen have to score and put runs for giving the South Africans a good target,'' he quipped.

Meanwhile, the 37-year-old leggie put to rest all speculation on giving a chance to Mohammad Kaif, saying ''Yuvraj is ahead if the team has to select between Kaif and him.'' Talking about the situation at Kanpur, he said, ''In Chennai it was a different wicket while at Ahmedabad we lost the match in the first 20 overs when our first innings collapsed.'' ''Now we have to put behind all our lapses and evolve a new plan and execute it effeciently.

''Though they have very good team but we will have to overcome all the glitches and create another record for the country,'' the captain informed.

Earlier the Indian team practiced for about three hours in the morning braving the heat conditions.


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