Kumble banks on batsmen in Australia

Updated: 17 December 2007 11:20 IST

India captain Anil Kumble on Saturday put the onus on the star-studded batting line-up to deliver the goods.

Kumble banks on batsmen in Australia


Gung-ho after the triumph over Pakistan, India captain Anil Kumble today put the onus on the star-studded batting line-up to deliver the goods and notch up a rare series win against formidable Australia.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of the team's departure for a four-match Test series, followed by a tri-series, Down Under, Kumble expressed hopes that the in-form batsmen, specially the middle order, would put enough runs on the board to give a cushion to the bowlers.

"We have people in the middle order with over 30,000 runs and I think we will be able to handle whatever comes our way. I have been saying that if we have the runs on the board, our bowlers have the ability to get the wickets," Kumble said.

Senior players would do well

The seasoned leggie also hoped that the senior players, touring Australia for the last time, would stand up and be counted against Ricky Ponting and his men.

"For some of the senior players, it's probably their last tour to Australia. It's important we go out there and do well," said Kumble.

"It's a tough challenge to play Australia in Australia but we are ready for the challenge. We have the potential and players to win the series in Australia," said ace leg spinner.

"We had a very good series against Pakistan. We won the One-day as well as the Test series which is a confidence booster for doing well in Australia," India's highest Test wicket taker proclaimed.

"We have quality in the side. We have enough experience of Australian conditions to adjust to them, which is a pre-requisite of international cricket.

The potential in the side and the players' experience will help," he added.

India to stop Australia

Administrative Manager of the team and former opener Chetan Chauhan predicted that just like the team had stopped Australia's magnificent run of 16 successive Test wins in 2001, India would halt the world champions' run of 14 Test victories on the trot this time.

"I was the manager when we stopped Australia's run of 16 Test wins. I am manager again and we are going to Australia.

"They have won 14 Tests in a row. We will stop them and create history (by becoming the first Indian squad to win a Test rubber in Australia). That will be our endeavour," he said.

Kumble, meanwhile, brushed aside concerns that the team would find it difficult to adjust with only one warm-up tie before the first Test starts on December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Kookaburra balls used in Australia.

"We have played lot of cricket and have 10 days before the first Test to get adjusted.

"We are all comfortable with using the Kookaburra ball too. We have played with it before and talk about the ball is only in the media and not among us," the ace spinner said.

Sehwag welcomed

Kumble welcomed the return of Virender Sehwag and said the Delhi opener did not have to be told anything else to boost his confidence after the selectors reposed their faith and included him in the squad.

"Viru is a quality player. The very fact he's in the team is a big confidence booster. It gives us an attacking option," he said.

Kumble admitted that the squad would miss the bowling of S Sreesanth and Munaf Patel, who are not in the team because of fitness reasons, but said their absence has given an opportunity for newcomers Ishant Sharma and Pankaj Singh.

Kumble also welcomed the dilemma on how to include in-form batsman Yuvraj Singh in the Test eleven.

"It's a healthy problem to have. We have to sit down and assess it after looking at the conditions on how to fit in Yuvraj," the Bangalore stalwart explained.

Cricket to do talking

On the possibility of facing sledging, he said, "We prefer our cricket to do all the talking and that's our goal. We would like to play good and aggressive cricket. If we can do that they we will do well."

Australia will be without bowling greats Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne but Kumble said their attack could not be underestimated.

"They were not there last time too (did not play the series in 2004) and they are a strong side. But having said that we have the quality, the ability and skills to play them."

Kumble, meanwhile, felt sorry that Murali Kartik could not be accommodated in the side.

"It's tough on him. The best two spinners are in (Kumble and Harbhajan Singh). You can't have everyone," he said.

Topics : Cricket India Anil Kumble Royal Challengers Bangalore
Related Articles
Most Indian Players Skip Practice, Fans Disappointed
Most Indian Players Skip Practice, Fans Disappointed
India is a Unique Place to Play Cricket: Jos Buttler
India is a Unique Place to Play Cricket: Jos Buttler
BCCI Administrators to be Named on January 20
BCCI Administrators to be Named on January 20
Show Comments