Sharjah: With Rahul Dravid out of the ongoing Coca Cola Cup tri-series with a broken finger, skipper Saurav Ganguly has decided to open the Indian innings again in Thursday's second phase league tie against Zimbabwe. Ace leg-spinner Anil Kumble, however, will sit out with a bruised shoulder.Instead of Ganguly, who along with Sachin Tendulkar forms a formidable opening pair in the world, Dravid had stepped out in the last league tie against the same side and scored 85 in India's 13-run win.
But with Dravid's departure, Ganguly had to be back in the saddle, albeit reluctantly. ''I will open the innings. The coach does not like it (my not opening),'' Ganguly said with Aunshuman Gaekwad by his side after a workout this afternoon.Dravid's place in the side is likely to be taken by Tamil Nadu left-handed batsman S Sriram as it seems from the 12 that have been announced. Anil Kumble has been left out, while Uttar Pradesh all-rounder Mohammad Kaif, who flew in this morning as a replacement for the Indian vice-captain, does find a mention in the list. Ganguly though said the final 11 will be decided on Thursday.
Regarding Kumble, the captain said it is a ''bad injury'' and quoted team physiotherapist Andrew Kokinos as saying, ''There is some problem in the shoulder bone. He (Kumble) feels it while bowling.''The Indian skipper found Zimbabwe a very deceptive side. ''Frankly, I willrate their batting with guys like Andy Flower, Guy Whittall better than that of Sri Lanka.'' Andy scored an unbeaten 120 against Lanka and followed it up with a well-struck 63 against India.On Vinod Kambli who has been struggling for runs, Ganguly said, ''Failures are part of the game. It is easy to drop somebody.
But the best part of Kambli is that he is a very positive player which matters a lot in One-dayers.'' Asked whether he has been given some advice for his susceptibility to short balls, the captain said, ''We preferred to leave him alone.'' Kambli hurt his left arm trying to pull in the last match and was dismissed for 18 off the very next ball attempting the same stroke to Zimbabwe seamer T J friend.UNI