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Two days before Adelaide Test, turmoil in Indian camp

IANS
Jan 22, 2008 at 01:26pm IST

Adelaide: The stunning omission of Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly from the One-Day team has thrown the tourists' preparation for the fourth India-Australia Test into turmoil.

Herald Sun has reported that several Indian players have still been coming to terms with the decision to drop Sourav Ganguly for next month's triangular One-Day series against Australia and Sri Lanka.

Some players are bewildered by the fact that enigmatic batsman Yuvraj Singh has retained his spot ahead of Ganguly, who has more than 11,000 One-Day runs and 22 centuries to his credit.

DROPPED: The sudden divide in the Indian camp has come at a worse time for the tourists.

Yuvraj was dropped for the Perth Test after double failures in Melbourne and Sydney. His lack of confidence has become such a worry that team management is considering sending him to a renowned sports psychologist.

This sudden divide could not have come at a worse time for the tourists, who had been buoyed by their breakthrough win at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground.

Cricket's No. 2-ranked team arrived in Adelaide on Monday and skipper Anil Kumble must focus his players' minds if they are to force a drawn series at a ground where they claimed a stunning win four years ago.

Kumble must also decide if a five-man attack is best for Adelaide, typically superb to bat on for at least the first three days.

Spinner Harbhajan Singh will come into contention for a recall after sitting out the Perth victory because three fast bowlers were used.

The Adelaide pitch is expected to turn, giving Harbhajan even more encouragement to maintain his hold over Ricky Ponting.

Harbhajan has dismissed the Australian captain three times in the four innings they have met this summer.

"If I am in the team, I would do what essentially I always try to do: be patient, bowl in the right areas and put pressure on batsmen," Harbhajan said Monday.

"Batsmen tend to make mistakes when under pressure.

"I felt gratified when Anil said the other day that he thanked me for building up the pressure from the other end."

Harbhajan reiterated Ganguly's claims that India was gunning for Australia's No. 1 crown.

"Australia is still a very good team, but we are not far behind," he said. "We have competed with them, and competed well."

If Harbhajan does return, the tourists may axe struggling opener Wasim Jaffer and again ask a reluctant Dravid to open the batting.

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