The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kumble likely to replace Harbhajan
- ĎNever Have a Backward Stepí theme retained for Adelaide Test as well

Singapore: The Indians are looking to effect one change in the XI which drew the first Test versus Australia in Brisbane. The second of four Tests, in Adelaide, gets underway on Friday.

According to The Telegraphís sources, veteran Anil Kumble is tipped to replace Harbhajan Singh, who finished with just one wicket at the Gabba. In the other camp, by the way, thereís talk of Brad Williams taking Andy Bichelís place.

ďHarbhajan hasnít been in form and, so, a common view is that Kumble should make the XI,Ē one of the sources pointed out, when contacted in Adelaide. Also, itís not insignificant that the leggie already has 358 wickets under his designer belt.

In fact, Harbhajan was unimpressive in the tour-opener as well (against Victoria), taking two for 159. Kumble, on the other hand, had four for 74 in the Queensland Academy of Sportís first innings.

Actually, Harbhajan was far from his best in the recent tri-series too and could find it difficult making a comeback as long as Team India has a 3-1 attack. However, itís not that Kumble wonít be under pressure. After all, he is set to be fielded on a track which is always seen as the finest for batting.

For the Indians, the good news of course is that Zaheer Khan, who had a hamstring problem in Brisbane, is ďfit.Ē If thereís a worry, itís that Virender Sehwag isnít sending out positive signals at the very top of the order.

For now, though, fingers are crossed.

Meanwhile, Sourav Ganguly and Co. have decided to retain the first Testís theme ó Never Have a Backward Step ó for the second as well. Psychologist Sandy Gordon had suggested the players adopt a different one for each Test, but nobody wants to change something which worked at the Gabba.

Itís an understandable sentiment.


Akash Chopra, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V.V.S.Laxman, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra.

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