Bajji likely to sit out, Dravid bats for seamers

Published: Friday, June 9, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St Lucia:Harbhajan Singh is likely to be left out from the playing XI as skipper Rahul Dravid made it clear the preference would be given to the seamers as the wicket did not seem a turning one.

''I think the pitch will change a bit by the time match starts. I will see tomorrow and decide on the combination. It's too early to say now,'' Dravid said.

''But we have to take advantage where we can, and this pitch is not going to help spinners much. We have to go with seamers,'' the skipper added.

Dravid also said that playing on the tracks here was a challenge that he relishes.

''Nature of wickets are slow here but each country has different features. The charm of international cricket is to try and win outside. The key is not to be obsessed with wickets but focus on win,'' said Dravid.

Dravid also made it clear that he would continue to bat at number four while VVS Laxman takes the number three spot in the batting order.

''With Sachin not around I think I should bat at four and Laxman comes at his favourite position where he has scored some big runs.'' ''With stroke players like (Mohd) Kaif and Yuvraj (Singh) around me I think I can put some stability in the middle order. This will remain most likely for the whole series,'' said Dravid.

Pitch curator Kent Crofton feel that the ball will come around nicely and stroke play would be comfortable here.

''This track will have more carry than the one we saw in the last Test. Seamers will enjoy the conditions early on but later stroke-making won't be that difficult,'' said Kent.

Dravid also had a word of advice for his batsmen as he raised the issue of converting starts into big ones.

''Batsman getting start should go on, we have discussed this in our team meetings. That's very important because a couple of batsmen making big turns the match around. Jaffer showed that in the last test,'' said Dravid.

Coach Chappell had a special session with the batsmen where he advised them how to use the crease better on slow tracks.

Dravid also said that the team has planned to get rid of Gayle quickly.

''He is a good player and he played two very important knocks in the last Test. It is important to get him out early and for that we have to keep the ball consistently in good area.''

Teams (from):

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Runako Morton, Daren Ganga, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Pedro Collins, Jerome Taylor, Ian Bradshaw and Corey Collymore.

India: Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel and VRV Singh.

Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pak) and Simon Taufel (Aus), Third umpire: Steve Bucknor (WI)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZ).

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