Dravid hints at ignoring Harbhajan Singh

Published: Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Basseterre, St. Kitts:Harbhajan Singh is likely to cool his heels in the sidelines again with Team India captain Rahul Dravid hinting that he was not in favour of tinkering with the bowling attack which should have three seamers and a specialist spinner in Anil Kumble.

Rahul Dravid had a hard look at the third Test pitch here for almost 20 minutes, checking the various areas and gently knocking it for hardness. The pitch has a fair bit of grass on it and promises to live up to West Indies skipper Brian Lara's expectation of a 'fair' pitch.

Dravid would wait for another day to have one more look to make a decision on the playing combination. But as it appeared from a brief chat with media, he is not keen on making changes in the bowling combination.

''Four bowlers did the job for us in the last game. But we will have a look at the pitch tomorrow and then decide on right combination. Ideal scenario is five bowlers, but (Virender) Sehwag has been doing well and that adds extra sting to our bowling,'' said Dravid.

Indian team management might as well wait to have a proper reading of the pitch because even the ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson, who is in charge of the tracks here, believes some of the grass on the pitch has to go.

''I would shave a little of grass on top but yes, there would be definitely something for the seamers in it,'' said Atkinson.

In case India persist with one spinner, Harbhajan Singh might again have to sit out for third Test in a row. Dravid feels Sehwag has rolled his arm with distinction and there is a big role for his off-breaks.

''He has bowled very well, important thing is that he maintains his consistency. Like Chris Gayle for the West Indies, he too can be a reliever for our bowling,'' said Dravid.

Munaf (Patel) has bowled very well in the series, (S) Sreesanth have bowled good spells and VRV (Singh) has showed promise too. Irfan (Pathan) has also come back well. Unfortunately we can pick only 11 guys from the 16, so some have to be left out," said the Indian skipper.

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