~~Uphill task to fill Warne, Murali, Kumble gap~~

Published: Friday, November 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Hyderabad:It will be an daunting task to fill the gap which will be created when spin legends Shane Warne, Muralitharan and Anil Kumble retire from international Cricket after the World Cup, former Sri Lankan Test captain Aravinda De Silva said today.

Talking to the media at the Rajiv Gandhi Cricket stadium at Uppal here, he said Muralitharan, Warne and Kumble were the best spinners in the world today and their retirement would create a vacuum, which would be very difficult to fill.

Disappointed with the performance of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy, he said it would have been great if one of the sub-continent teams reached the semi-finals.

He, however, felt India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan would perform better in the World Cup in West Indies next year.

''I will not be surprised if one of the sub-continent teams win the World Cup'', he said.

Commenting on India's strengths and weaknesses, he said the batting line up was strong, but the bowling lacked experience. The bowling can be strengthened only with the inclusion of Kumble and Zaheer Khan.

About former Indian Captain Saurav Ganguly's chances of a comeback, he said, ''I don't know what the exact problem is, but his inclusion will boost the team and the batting order.'' On controversial Umpire Darrel Hair, he said, '' Hair should not have been that harsh on the Pakistan team.'' He said the facilities available in the Rajiv Gandhi stadium here were excellent.


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