Thatscricket - News - We need both Kumble & Srinath, says captain Ganguly
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2002, 22:01 [IST]
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Kolkata: Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly on Thursday said that leggie Anil Kumble and speedster Javagal Srinath would be vital components of his team in the coming Test and One-day series against West Indies.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Asked to comment on Sunil Gavaskar's comments in his column in a Bengal daily that the two were well past their prime and needed to be kept out of the Indian side, Ganguly said, ''I am not very sure. We need them both as otherwise our bowling is weak and inexperienced.''Ganguly, who was speaking to newspersons after launching a new pre-paid offering from cellular service providers Airtel in the city, said that Kumble was now India's best bowler.''With his record in both varieties of the game, Kumble is our best bowler. He is a match-winner. So, I think there is no reason I should not have him in my side,'' he said.In contrast, he said offie Harbhajan Singh was still young and the seasoned Kumble would be a perfect foil to him. On Srinath, who was flown to Colombo before India's Champions Trophy final against Sri Lanka to replace the injured Ashish Nehra, Ganguly said that one should not judge the lanky Karnataka pacer's present form on the basis of his performance on the first rain-aborted final on September 29.Srinath had earlier announced his retirement from Test cricket following which the Indian selectors axed him from the One-day side. ''He had landed in Colombo after a tiresome 10-hour flight. So, one should not judge him on the basis of his performance that day,'' he said. The veteran Srinath had come for harsh treatment from the Lanka batsmen conceding 55 runs from eight overs, and India included Kumble in the replayed final next day to exploit the spin-friendly track. Ganguly answered in the affirmative when asked if Srinath had given him his word to turn out for the country in the longer variation of the game. ''Yes, he will again play in Tests. He is also good enough for the One-dayers. The team requires him. Moreover, his record is a testimony to his bowling prowess,'' he added. Ganguly said the Indians, who finished joint winners in the Champions Trophy, were in peak form for the last year or so and would do well in the coming three Tests and seven-match One-day series against the Caribbeans. The first Test begins in Mumbai from October 6. ''If we can keep up our current form, we will do well against them,'' he said. On the absence of indisposed star batsman Brian Lara from the visiting West Indies team, Ganguly said, ''He is a huge name in the Caribbeans. But more than the advantage to my side, I feel for the fans who have never seen him play on Indian soil.'' Ganguly said that his team's present success was largely due to the improvement achieved in key areas like fielding and fitness. Praising physio Andrew Leipus and physical trainer Adrian Le Roux, he said, ''We play a lot of cricket nowadays and so these areas were crucial. The two of them have done a good job.''PTI
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