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October 16, 2008
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."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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