English Summer - Pitch might force India to refuse to play 3-day tie

Published: Sunday, July 21, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Southampton (England): The pitch at the Rose Bowl for the three-day game between the touring Indians and Hampshire is causing a lot of heart-burn and there is a possibility the tourists might refuse to come out to play on the second day on Sunday.Indians batted first on the first day of the game on winning the toss and made 236 runs and in reply the hosts were 33 for one. Quite a few Indian batsmen were hit on their fingers or on their chest with deliveries which either skidded or bounced at variable height and with the first Test at Lord's only four days away, the Indians do not want to risk their players for the series, as well as for the forthcoming engagements.India's two spinners, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, were nearly rendered injured by such deliveries during India's innings. Kumble got a nasty one from Neil Johnson, which rose and nearly broke his hand.Harbhajan Singh, got a brute of a blow, again off Johnson, on his left-hand fingers and as the non-striker Tinu Yohannan immediately signalled to the dressing room, there was a sneaking fear the Indian off spinner might have broken his fingers. Andrew Leipus, the Physio, ran on to the ground and attended Harbhajan's injury and fortunately there was no fracture. "We have some important engagements ahead and with the way Kumble and Harbhajan were hit, we could be risking our important players for the forthcoming Test series," skipper Saurav Ganguly said. PTI

Dravid shines as Hampshire bowls out India for 236
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