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India coach: Kumble to come in for Mishra if fit

India coach: Kumble to come in for Mishra if fit

Despite his impressive debut in India's 320-run victory over Australia in the second test last week, legspinner Amit Mishra is expected to be dropped for the third match if captain Anil Kumble has recovered from a shoulder injury.
Kumble's injury paved the way for Mishra to become just the sixth Indian bowler to take five wickets on debut, collecting 5-71 in the first innings at Mohali and seven wickets overall as India took a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
However, India coach Gary Kirsten said Mishra would sit out the third test, starting Wednesday at New Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium, if Kumble is fit.
"Kumble is the Indian team's captain. He will play if he's fit," Kirsten said. "He's looking good and we're pleased at the progress."
Kumble is India's highest test wicket-taker with 616 dismissals from 131 matches and Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium is one of his favorite venues, having taken all 10 wickets in one innings in a test against Pakistan in 1999.
Kirsten said India wasn't planning to drop a middle-order batsman in order to field three spinners.
"There's no chance of playing three spinners. We'd like to go into the test with six specialist batsmen," said Kirsten, who added that offspinner Harbhajan Singh picked up an injury during the final stages of the second test.
"Hopefully, Harbhajan's injury isn't serious, and there are still two days to go (before the third test starts)."
Kirsten described the team's second-test performance as setting a standard that India needs to maintain.
"It was a benchmark test for us in terms of dominating the contest," he said. "We're keen to take the same form into the third test match, but it'll be a new day and a new game."


Updated : 2021-01-19 03:34 GMT+08:00