Kumble confident of pinning Aussies at Kotla

October 28th, 2008 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) Even as off-spinner Harbhajan Singh remained doubtful for the third Test against Australia starting Wednesday, India’s skipper Anil Kumble asserted that the hosts are confident of wrapping up the series at the Ferozeshah Kotla.Harbhajan, who suffered a toe injury on the last day in Mohali Test, has still not recovered. A decision on his availability will be taken on the morrow.

“We are still not sure on Harbhajan, because he has a little bit of discomfort. Obviously he will be a big factor for us,” Kumble told reporters here on the eve of the match.

If off-spinner Harbhajan sits out, local leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who made a sensational debut in Mohali picking seven wickets, will get a chance to play. Kumble missed the Mohali Test due to a shoulder injury.

Asked whether it would be ideal to play two leg spinners, Kumble said: “It is a question of balance of the team. It is yet to be decided because Harbhajan is a key member. We hope that he gets fit.”

India lead the series 1-0 after they defeated Australia by a record 320-run margin in Mohali.

“We have played some good cricket. The confidence that we have gained from the last two Test matches will be helpful,” he said.

Kumble, who has some wonderful memories at the Kotla - where he picked up 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan - said the pitch looked like a perfect batting strip, where spinners will come into play from the third day.

“It looks like a nice surface to bat on. At the end of the day we have to get the runs on board and pick up 20 wickets. I think we have a good combination to do it and wrap up the series here,” he said.

The 38-year-old also said that India’s impressive record at the venue will also be a morale booster. India have won the last seven Tests here since 1993.

The captain also had words of praise for the openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

“Openers have done well in the series and they will hopefully give us another good start on their home ground,” he said.

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