Wednesday 2 April 2008 

India Waiting On Fitness Of Kumble For Ahmedabad Test

India are waiting on the fitness of captain Anil Kumble as they prepare for the second Test against South Africa in Ahmedabad.

Kumble strained a groin on the final day of the first match, which was drawn in Chennai, and is facing a battle to be fit for the match which starts tomorrow morning (April 3rd).

"We just have to wait. We'll take a final call tomorrow morning," Kumble told a news conference on Wednesday when quizzed about his fitness.

India, without batsman Sachin Tendulkar who has also succumbed to a groin injury, look set to promote VVS Laxman on a pitch which is expected to be lively. Laxman is deemed one of India's better players of quick bowling and will be moved from his normal position of six to Tendulkar's slot at four.

"He will certainly come up the order," Kumble said.

Yuvraj Singh or Mohammad Kaif should replace Tendulkar in the line up unless Irfan Pathan is drafted in as an all-round option.

It is still unclear if Ishant Sharma, who showed good form in Australia, will return to the side as he is recovering from a foot injury and RP Singh looked poor on his return in Chennai, leaving India with some thinking to do ahead of the match and so much so that the line up announcement has been delayed.

Kumble also responded to South African coach Mickey Arthur's plans for Virender Sehwag, who scored 319 in Chennai. Arthur believes Sehwag is vulnerable to the short ball, something Kumble dismissed.

I think he's (Sehwag) a good enough batsman to handle that," Kumble said. "He scored 319 in the last innings and is capable of handling whatever comes his way."

The third and final Test will take place in Kanpur.