Kumble to declare fitness on Friday morning

Anil Kumble's availability for the all-important Kanpur Test hangs in balance while Ishant Sharma is likely to replace Sreesanth.

updated: April 16, 2008 15:24 IST
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Indian captain Anil Kumble, laid low by a groin injury, will wait till the morning of the all-important Kanpur Test beginning on Friday to decide whether to play.

Kumble and paceman Ishant Sharma were to undertake a fitness test on Thursday to determine their availability for the match but the Indian captain has now been given more time to regain full fitness.

Ishant, however, has been declared fit and is certain to return to the team at the expense of either S Sreesanth or Irfan Pathan, both of whom looked quite ordinary in the second Test in Ahmedabad where India lost by an innings and 90 runs in just three days.

Ishant missed the first two Tests because of injuries on his toe and finger and his presence will no doubt provide more sting to the home team's pace bowling department.

"I am not yet fully fit. I will take a call on Friday morning. I am hoping that things will get better," Kumble said on the eve of the match, which India need to win to square the series 1-1.

"I don't want to comment anything on my fitness at the moment. I will see how I feel tomorrow morning. If I am in a position to bowl, I will definitely play," he said when asked whether it was a 50-50 chance of him playing the crucial game.

Kumble said Ishant was fit and eligible for selection but the team management will only take a final decision on the playing XI on Friday.

"We will have a meeting this evening and discuss on the composition for the match. We will have another look at the pitch before finalising the team," he said.

Kumble said there was no injury concerns regarding Sreesanth and he is fully fit for the match. "Sreesanth is fit, there is no injury issue with him."