New Delhi:Furious with the mounting speculation on his future, Indian Test skipper Anil Kumble on Wednesday called for an end to the guessing game, saying that he would make an announcement as and when he decides to retire from international cricket.
"I will let you know when my last series is. At this moment, I don't want to say yes or no. I think let's stop all this for now. Let the players decide when they need to go. Thank you so much," thundered Kumble when questioned repeatedly about when he planned to retire in the wake of Sourav Ganguly's announcment of quitting after the Test series against Australia.
On being probed about his comments in a syndicated column that the first Test against Australia starting here on Thursday would be his last at his home city, the visibly miffed veteran leg-spinner retorted, "There are millions of newspapers in India and I don't know which newspaper you are talking about." The 37-year-old said he has never planned beyond one series at a time and therefore although the first Test against Australia would be his last at home, he cannot say when his swansong appearance will come about.
"Certainly this is my last Test match in Bangalore. I don't know when the next Test match is. I don't want to look that far away. As I have always said, I take one series at a time. So this certainly will be my last Bangalore Test," he said addressing a pre-match press conference.
Asked whether Ganguly's retirement would be a distraction for the team's preparation, Kumble said, "I dont think it's a distraction. It's his personal choice. He has had a fantastic career. Hope that this series will be good for him. Not just for him but for Team India as well. That will be the focus for us, got out there and do the job for the team." On the preparations for the series, Kumble said the team is fully geared up for the tough battle against world champions.
"Preparation for the series has been very good and we have done everything that we could. I'm very satisfied with the way we have gone about. Last three weeks we have been together just before the Irani Trophy match," he said.
"We have been training hard and preparing ourselves for this important series," he added.
On the pitch that has been described a dry, Kumble said, "It seems to be a good surface and hopefully we will be able to play good cricket. We don't want to take any of the Aussie bowlers lightly. It's my home ground and we would like to start the series with a win." Kumble revealed that Rudra Pratap Singh and S Badrinath will not be playing in this Test, before adding that the final XI from the remaining 13 will be decided tomorrow.
Coach Gary Kirsten, who accompanied Kumble to the press meet, said the Indian team's preparation has been excellent.
"We have got a group of cricketers who are in good shape and are really looking forward to taking on Australia. Our preparation from the batting perspective is spot on," said Kirsten.