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News Letter
Fri May 17 2002
Issue No: 63

Harbhajan to replace Kumble for Jamaica Test

Five days of play at Sabina Park, Jamaica, will determine whether Sourav Ganguly’s men will become the first Indian side to win a series in the Caribbean since 1971 or whether they will go down yet again abroad. Anil Kumble’s departure is certainly a glitch in the scheme, and Harbhajan Singh will be coming back as sole spinner at Kingston. At least India’s wicket-keeping and opening problems seem to be resolved for the nonce; Wasim Jaffer made a career-best 86 at Antigua, where Ajay Ratra made his maiden first-class hundred to allay fears about his batting. The West Indies have named an unchanged squad for their part, but the only change they might contemplate is to include leg-spinner Dinanath Ramnarine. That seems unlikely; Sabina Park’s pitch will probably be similar to that in at the Kensington Oval, so a pace-packed attack is the home side’s best bet.

Yuvraj Singh returns, rejuvenated and with fresh goals

Yuvraj Singh, some would say, got a bit too much fame a bit too quickly. After belligerently bursting onto the scene, there was talk of attitude problems and flashes in the pan when he failed a few times. CricInfo caught up with Yuvraj in Bangalore shortly before he was named in the squad for the one-day series in the Caribbean.

How did you deal with all the criticism you came in for?

It happens with everyone. When you do well, people write good things about you and put you on a pedestal. When you do badly, they naturally write bad things. You have to learn to accept that. I have. I didn't care too much about what the press said.

Support is crucial when a player is out of the side. Who really helped you out?

It was very difficult for me to be out of the team after the South Africa series. I hadn't done very well and was disappointed. I got good runs in the Ranji trophy leagues but could not convert that. I was working hard on my game, and I knew the call would come. My mother was always by my side. She really helped me in my hard times.

What is it like coming in late in the order, when the pressure is on?

Coming at five and six is hard because they are crucial slots. You come in with very few overs left and have to score at a fast rate. It is always going to be a difficult situation. People put you in that slot because they have confidence in you and expect you to do the job. When that is the case, you have to deliver - by hook or by crook.

Click here for the full interview.

Richards advises Tendulkar to play his natural game

Sachin Tendulkar idolises Viv Richards, so when in Antigua, he was not going to miss a chance to meet its favourite son. But the feeling, it appears, was mutual; Richards made his way to the Indian dressing rooms of his own accord. After indulging camera-happy Sarandeep Singh and Wasim Jaffer for photographs, Richards had a chat with Tendulkar on a balcony. The Indian maestro, naturally, was anxious to get the King’s opinion on his poor form, and Richards had a simple solution. "I feel you are not at all enjoying your batting. It seems you have pressure on your shoulders as well as at the back of your mind," said Richards. "Just go out there and enjoy your game." Richards followed that policy to the hilt in his own career, and it is to be hoped that Tendulkar will do the same at Kingston.

  • Get all the medical low-down on Anil Kumble's jawbreaker with Rasna Health Check. Click Here
  • Relive the celebration of Mohinder Amarnath's finest hour at the Rasna Utsav Zone. Click Here
  • Pithy statements and quotable quotes - packaged every week in Wordsworth. Click Here

Some members of the national squad may still remember this day in 1997, when Sanath Jayasuriya rattled up an unbeaten 151 against India at the Wankhede Stadium. Sri Lanka were chasing only 226, but Jayasuriya stood resolutely in the way of an upset win, single-handedly taking his side to victory in 41 overs.

This is it. The final Test at Jamaica will decide whether the Indians go home triumphant heroes or disheartened wannabes. India can, with just one more win, put to rest all doubts about their poor record abroad and their big-match temperament. Join us at CricInfo as we follow it all, ball by ball.

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Yuvraj Singh
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Which Indian batsman was put out of action by Winston Benjamin in his first Test?

Previous Question

Who has made the highest individual score in a India-West Indies Test?

Answer:Rohan Kanhai

"He will have to rest for three-four days and then he can begin nets. He should be fully okay in about three weeks." Dr Sanjiv Nair, on Anil Kumble's surgery

"Harbhajan is an excellent bowler, with lots of tricks up his sleeve. We know he can make a difference in the side." Sourav Ganguly, on Harbhajan Singh's inclusion for the Jamaica Test

"What on earth was Chanderpaul up to? I have never seen him play live, but if this is his style, it seems he was told about the likes of 'Slasher' Mackay and Barnacle Bill (Trevor) Bailey growing up in Guyana." Tony Clark

Centuries from Ajay Ratra and Ridley Jacobs at Antigua provided the only instance of two stumpers reaching three figures in the same Test.

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