Kumble and Bhajji in the Orange City

On the eve of the first test, all the pitch reports indicate a very dry wicket (much unlike the last time a test was played here) that would assist the spinners as the game progresses. As in any home test in the last few years, Kumble and Harbhajan would hold the key for picking up the 20 wickets required to win a test match.

Kumble has played 4 test matches on this ground. He did not get to bowl at all in one very wet test (He did get to bat and score a half century in that game), but he hasn't done badly at all in the remaining three tests with figures of 3/131 and 3/45, 4/82 and 5/63, 2/99 and 1/89 (this was in that disappointing test against the Aussies in 2004). The interesting thing is that in 2 of these games, he opened the bowling in the second innings (Is that enough to decide against having a third seamer?). He is 6 short of 500 test wickets and he would be very keen on reaching that well deserved landmark in the next few days.

Harbhajan has played only one test (against Zimbabwe) in Nagpur with figures of 0/58 and 4/46 in that game. After a disappointing tour of Pakistan, he would be raring to make an impression in this series.

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