Spin all-rounders have a job to do for India: Abbas Ali Baig

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Amanpreet Singh

New Delhi, Feb 8 (PTI) The spin all-rounders have amajor role to play in India''s campaign at the upcoming WorldCup since the fast bowling lacks firepower, former cricketerAbbas Ali Baig said today.

Baig, who was the first Indian cricketer to score a Testcentury abroad, said India have plenty of genuine spinall-rounders and they are capable of dishing out a rollickingshow before the home crowd.

"Absolutely, they have a big role. There is Yusuf Pathan,who is a genuine all-rounder. There is Yuvraj (Singh),(Virender) Sehwag, and Harbhajan Singh has actually turnedinto a mature batsman.

"The lower order batsmen also have to chip in. The lowerorder batsmen have supported the frontline bastmen, which wasnot the case earlier. They certainly have a role to play inIndian conditions," Baig told PTI in an interview.

"If you look at Indian bowling. It does not have thefirepower like that of batting....except for Zaheer. It''s notup to the mark and may not be able to deal with thesituation," he added.

"But having said that. Anything can happen in cricket andanyone can rise to occasion," he said.

A wonderful strokemaker in his days, Baig said Indiasurely relies on its batting to deliver the goods but fieldingwould also be crucial.

"No doubt, batting is our main strength. We have enoughfirepower. On an unusual day, it may collapse. But it take usthe whole way on Indian pitches.

"Our fielding has also improved. I think we are among thebest in world with lot of youngsters in the side. On paperbatting is our strength. So we will have to produce runs andsave some on the field," Baig said.

Like many other former India cricketers, Baig also feltthat the selectors could have added variety to the spinattack.

"I would have picked either Pragyan Ojha or MuraliKartik. One of them would have been ideal choice in place ofPiyush Chawla. I would also have gone for an extra stumper.

Parthiv Patel is good batsmen and wicketkeeper," he said. MorePTI AT MRM

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