England tour of India - Cricket: Eng~~s chance to salvage pride, India goes for kill

Published: Monday, December 10, 2001, 20:16 [IST]
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Ahemdabad: Indian captain Saurav Ganguly warned England his team was ready to wrap up the series by winning the second Test starting here on Tuesday."We are not complacent after one win, but we are confident," Ganguly said before nets at the Motera stadium on Monday."We have to win this series here itself. You have to play good cricket to win matches and I am sure we will do that."The hosts lead 1-0 in the three-match series following their emphatic 10-wicket win in the opening Test at Mohali last week.The Indian skipper's confidence stemmed from the availability of pace spearhead Javagal Srinath and middle-order batsman Virender Sehwag, who missed the first Test for different reasons.Srinath skipped the match due to a finger injury, while Sehwag served a one-match suspension imposed on him by controversial match referee Mike Denness for excessive appealing on the South African tour."Srinath will enjoy bowling with newcomer Tinu Yohannan," Ganguly said. "Both relish bowling to left-handers and since the England team has quite a few of them, it is bound to work to our advantage."England captain Nasser Hussain hopes his dream of conquering the sub-continent - the tourists won in Pakistan and Sri Lanka last season - does not turn into a nightmare with another below-par performance.But England will have to lift its game to stop the Indians in their own backyard.The task is not easy, for even the all-conquering Australians failed to cross what their captain Steve Waugh believed was the 'Last Frontier' when they went down 1-2 in India in March.This is the tourists' last chance to unravel the Indian spin riddle and keep interest alive. A slip here will only revive the 1993 nightmare when Graham Gooch's team was blanked 3-0.The Indian spin had done the trick then, with Anil Kumble, Rajesh Chauhan and Venkatapathi Raju taking 46 wickets in three Tests.Nothing has changed since then, for leg spinner Kumble and off spinner Harbhajan Singh have reminded England batsmen that they are still vulnerable against spin on slow turning pitches."It looks a good wicket, but I think it will turn," Ganguly said. "We have two good spinners in Kumble and Harbhajan. Sehwag is keenly looking forward to playing this match. He can also chip in with his off spin."England is likely to make one change from the first Test, including Warwickshire left-arm spinner Ashely Giles in place of Leicestershire seamer James Ormond.Hussain said his team would have to show marked improvement in fielding in order to put pressure on the hosts."I was most disappointed with our fielding in the first Test. But we are working hard on it," he said, referring to the four dropped catches and one missed stumping at Mohali.The teams (from): India: Saurav Ganguly (captain), Deep Dasgupta, Shiv Das, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Javagal Srinath, Tinu Yohannan, Sarandeep Singh, Iqbal Siddiqui and Connor Williams.England: Nasser Hussain (captain), Mark Butcher, Marcus Trescothick, Graham Thorpe, Mark Ramprakash, Andrew Flintoff, Craig White, James Foster, Richard Dawson, Matthew Hoggard, James Ormond, Ashley Giles, Michael Vaughan, Usman Afzaal, Warren Hegg, Martyn Ball and Richard Johnson.Umpires: A V Jayaprakash and Ian Robinson (Zimbabwe).Match referee: Denis Lindsay (South Africa).

Copyright AFP 2001

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