The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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India may need to call Kumble
- Too much was made of the Martyn run out and Sachin dismissal issues

Now that India have done well in the first Test, they need to keep matching the aggression of the Australians.

The world champions normally play their cricket at full throttle and if Indians are wayward, specially in bowling, they would be taxed severely. The two roadblocks in Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden are at the start of the innings itself. The others carry, as you say, the knock-out effect. Indiaís bowling must not be shown as inadequate.

Zaheer Khan leads Indiaís bowling attack and he can be more than a handful if he is swinging and getting his length right. He bowls at 140 km at times and thatís a good pace. He needs to be supported by others. However, Iím very disappointed in Harbhajan Singh. He was not able to get his drift, curve and spin which has been the hallmark of his bowling. Whether it is because of a finger injury or because he has had too much of cricket, Iím not sure. India may need to call upon Anil Kumble in Adelaide because they just canít let bowling be their weak link.

Adelaide can be an interesting ground for both sides. It has something for everyone and the atmosphere retains its old-world charm. Batsmen can score briskly and both pacers and spinners can purchase help. The shape of the ground leaves little margin for error for the bowlers as the square boundaries are relatively shorter. Batsmen who know the conditions tend to use the square shots to their advantage. Anything even marginally short, hits the pickets.

Coming back to the Gabba, I must say it was the best batting performance by Sourav Ganguly outside his country. He was under a bit of pressure because of all the talk that heís suspect against short-pitched bowling. But it was a great innings.

There were two issues in the game about which a lot more was made than required. One, of course, was Damien Martynís run-out and the other concerned the dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar. One must understand the shot Martyn played had three runs written all over it. There was hesitation and it was one of those situations where a run-out occurred. Whether he sacrificed it for his captain or tried to make up late for his third run is difficult to say.

Similarly, Tendulkarís dismissal was an honest umpiring error. It happens all the time. But Tendulkar is an icon and the focus would just not go away from the issue. Sometimes there is too much of analysis and issues are looked at too deeply than is necessary.

I was a little surprised by Steve Waughís declaration. I thought they would go for a bit of batting practice but Waugh perhaps wanted to seize the initiative. He wanted to have a few wickets, put the psychological pressure back on the Indians and in that respect it was a clever ploy.

India promise a summer of keen cricket. It would not be a washout as everyone has been predicting. Instead the visitors may well test the hosts. Batting is the strength of both sides and to run through them would take some exceptional bowling. Without good bowling, these batting sides would be made to appear doubly strong. (PTI)

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