Yuvraj, Kumble to play, Ganguly, Zaheer rested

Published: Friday, January 26, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Chennai:Indian skipper Rahul Dravid today announced that senior players Sourav Ganguly, M S Dhoni, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh would be rested while Yuvraj Singh and Anil Kumble will figure in the final XI in the third ODI against West Indies here tomorrow.

Addressing a press conference after nets at the M A Chidambaram Stadium here, Dravid said Yuvraj Singh would be playing tomorrow. He was declared medically fit by BCCI Consultant Anant Joshi and team physio John Gloster.

Asked whether Yuvraj was fully fit, Dravid said ''Yuvraj is fit medically. It's a great sign. He has been playing a couple of games.'' He said Gautam Gambhir and Karnataka's Robin Uthappa would open tomorrow.

Asked if the omission of Harbhajan Singh would weaken the spin bowling, Dravid pointed out ''we have Ramesh (Powar) and Anil (Kumble). We can also bring in Yuvraj and Sachin (Tendulkar) as spinners.''

Dravid said having taken a 2-0 lead in the four-match series the mood in the team was good. ''We are playing good cricket. The allround mood is good.'' ''We are giving opportunities for the younger boys and rotating the senior players as part of the plan to build the team for the World Cup."

''Every young player is being given a chance with specific expectations. There is no magic to win. If key players perform in critical moments, we will win. We have to maintain the momentum.''

Asked whether India had worked out a special strategy to contain Windies opener Chanderpaul, he said, ''when a great player like Chanderpaul strikes form, we can only try and put the ball in the right areas. We are trying to do just that.''

About the pitch at Chepauk, he said, ''the wicket is good. It is going to be a tall scoring match.'' Asked if he would prefer to bat first or bowl if he wins the toss tomorrow, the Indian skipper said, ''I will decide tomorrow. I am not experimenting. I am playing to win.''

He pointed out the team had been adapting better in low scoring games recently. ''We have been bowling very well, defending low scores.'' ''Although this is not an ideal situation, the team is able to pull it off due to good contribution lower down the order, like Dinesh Karthik's knock at Cuttack.

''The important thing is to win. We have adapted better on such wickets (referring to the not so good wicket at Cuttack),'' he said.


India: Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid (capt), Sachin Tendulkar (vice-capt),Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Kaarthick (wk), Suresh Raina, Sreesanth, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble and Ramesh Powar. Coach: Greg Chappell

West Indies: Brian Lara (capt), Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Runako Morton, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Ramdin (wk), Lendl Simmons, Ian Bradshaw, Rayad Emrit, Darren Powell, Devon Smith and Jerome Taylor. Coach: Bennatt King


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