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India aim to draw level at Adelaide Oval

Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
 
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Harbhajan short-listed in 12-man squadAdelaide: Team India skipper Anil Kumble on Wednesday said that his team is looking forward to squaring the four-match Indo-Aussie Test series during the Adelaide Test, which gets underway from morrow.

"We came with the purpose of winning a series in Australia but haven't achieved that. But we can hold our heads high after this - hoping we level the series. Future Indian teams will come here and look at the past. I'm really proud of what this team has done," Kumble said.

"It's been fantastic in Australia," said Kumble, adding, "It's my third trip here and I've enjoyed all my visits. In terms of results, the last one was fantastic and this one as well. We're thoroughly enjoying this tour."

Talking about previous match played at Adelaide, Kumble said: "It all started here in 2003-04. It was important we won the Test and the last four years have been fantastic for me personally and for Indian cricket. Here we are again, with the opportunity to level the series. Having done well in the past in Adelaide, gives us the added confidence."

Jaffer, Yuvraj to sit out: Meanwhile, the selection committee has short-listed off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthick in 12-man squad for the fourth Test. A final toss up between the off-spinner and the stumper will be decided just before the match.

However India still undecided on playing XI. In all probability Harbhajan will be included to strengthen the bowling dept. 

Yuvraj Singh and Wasim Jaffer will not play the final Test.

The Australians have already retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy by virtue of winning the first two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney but India's surprise win in last week's third match in Perth has given both teams plenty to play for in the series finale.

Australia are seeking to restore their battered pride amid complaints about their on-field behaviour and growing speculation their golden era is drawing to a close after India ruined their chance of setting a world record of 17 successive wins.

India have the chance to draw the series and perhaps claim a moral victory after they were on the wrong end of a number of incorrect umpiring decisions in a narrow loss in Sydney.

Aussies still undecided on team:  Despite Shuan Tait's poor outing at the Perth Test against India, captain Ricky Ponting hasn't ruled out the possibility of playing a four-man pace attack at Adelaide.

The pitch at the Adelaide Oval is known to assist spinners and Brad Hogg's inclusion is almost certain, but Ponting claimed that the decision to leave out Tait would be tough.

''We've just got to toss up in our head whether a spin option is the way to go or if we try and use pace with variable bounce late in the game,'' Ponting said.

''Historically spin has been the preferred option for the Australian team to play in most conditions around the world,'' he added.

However Australian opener Matthew Hayden, who has scored 307 runs at an average of 76.75 in the current series against India, has declared himself fit and raring to take on tourist's young rookie attack. Having out of the Perth Test with a hamstring injury after playing for Australia in 86 consecutive Tests, the prolific opener said Aussies will go flat out to stop Indians at Adelaide Oval.

Western Australian batsman Rogers, who replaced injured Haydos at Perth will make room for burly Queenslander.  

Squads: 

India: Anil Kumble (capt), M S Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Karthick, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, V V S Laxman, Irfaan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, R P Singh and Ishant Sharma.

Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Matthew Hayden, Jaques, Hussey, Michale Clarke, Symonds, Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Johnson, Shaun Tait, Brad Hogg and Stuart Clark. 

Agencies 

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