Kumble promises to bounce back in Kanpur

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/k/kumble_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Anil Kumble said the team has learnt its lessons from the innings defeat against South Africa and promised to bounce back in the final Test at Kanpur.

Updated: April 15, 2008 12:27 IST
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Putting up a brave face, India captain Anil Kumble on Saturday said the team has learnt its lessons from the innings defeat against South Africa and promised to bounce back in the final Test at Kanpur to square the series.

"It was very difficult to come back into the game after being bowled out for 76 on the first morning. We have learnt our lessons, we will bounce back in the second Test," a grim-looking Kumble said after India's innings and 90-run defeat.

"We have been in such situations before. South Africa are a good team, but we will certainly bounce back in the second match," he said.

Kumble refused to blame his bowlers who could not stop the opposition from scoring 494 and instead, dwelt on the positives his team got from the match.

"There was no lack of effort on their (bowlers') part, only the result was not there. There was 100 per cent effort by our bowlers."

Kumble felt his team could have made a match of it even after being shot out for just 76 had they nipped in the bud the record fifth wicket stand of 256 between Villiers and Kallis after having South Africa in a bit of a bother at 117 for four.

"We got their top four wickets but the partnership between de Villiers and Kallis was crucial for their win. A wicket at that stage could have made a difference," said the leg-spinner.

The captain will have a huge task at hand to avert a series defeat at home and said his batsmen will have to fire in the third and final Test in Kanpur starting April 11.

"We batted much better in the second innings. Our top order got the starts but could not convert them into big scores. We will have to do that in the second Test. We will come back strongly in Kanpur where the record is in our favour," Kumble declared.

Much talk in the match had centred around the nature of the pitch, but Kumble clarified that he never gave instructions to the groundsmen about the preparation of wickets.

"I don't give instructions on preparation of wickets. We play on whatever wickets are given to us," he claimed.

He also defended his decision to bat first saying the pitch played the same throughout the match.

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