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Ontong looking forward to India tour

DURBAN, NOV. 6. He has bowled just two overs in Test cricket so far and is making a comeback into the South African squad after three years but spinner Justin Ontong is confident that his ``unknown'' status would work in his favour during the team's tour of India this month.

``I am going to be an unknown factor for the players in India and it will be in my favour,'' Ontong was quoted as saying by the local media.

The 25-year-old Ontong, who made his debut against Australia in 2001 but fell out of favour after just one match, has been working on his leg spinners at the team's training base in Pretoria.

Ontong said that he was encouraged by what he saw on the second day of the ongoing fourth Test between India and Australia in Mumbai and even believed that he could get to bowl with the new ball.

``I may even get the opportunity to open the bowling. I am looking forward to carrying that responsibility. Let us be honest — as a spinner there is no better place to bowl than in India.

``So far this season, I have concentrated on bowling leg spinners because there are more variations. I also like to bowl the occasional away swingers. The players standing close to the batsman will have to be alert for catches when I bowl,'' he said.

The South African team will be leaving for India on November 11 for the two-Test series and was likely to rely on bits and pieces spinners during the tour since the only genuine spinner in the line-up — Nicky Boje — has withdrawn and was replaced by medium pacer Charl Langeveldt. — PTI

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