India v Australia, 2nd Test, Mohali October 16, 2008

Kumble's form a problem for India - Ponting

Cricinfo staff


Ricky Ponting: "If you had to look at someone who was going to go out to make way for a quick, it would probably have to be [Kumble]" © Getty Images
 

Ricky Ponting has said that the disappointing form of his opposing captain Anil Kumble could turn into an issue for India at the selection table in the lead-up to the second Test. Kumble, who turns 38 on Friday, failed to collect a wicket in the first Test and has faced intense media scrutiny about retirement plans.

Kumble was also battling a shoulder injury in Bangalore, although he is confident he will be fit for the second Test in Mohali, which starts on Friday. But Ponting said with wet weather a concern and the Mohali pitch renowned for offering assistance to seamers, India would need to think long and hard about including two spinners.

"They're in a bit of a predicament I think with Anil being their captain," Ponting told the Australian. "If you had to look at someone who was going to go out to make way for a quick, it would probably have to be him.

"Harbhajan [Singh] has a great record against Australia and is probably bowling better than Kumble at the moment so that's where the difficulty comes. If they happen to drop Kumble it would probably be a long way back for him so it will be interesting to see what they do."

The rematch after the five-day draw in Bangalore will be revealing following the after-match niggle, in which Zaheer Khan said Australia had played overly defensively. But Ponting said Zaheer, who was the Man of the Match for his six wickets and first-innings half-century, should worry about his own performance.

"He's just happened to have a good game as well, which is pretty unusual for him," Ponting said. "He's had a good game. It's up to him to back it up again. I think a lot of his comments might have been to try and get us to play a different style and different brand of cricket."