ICL: Indian Cricket League

Kumble upbeat ahead of Australia tour


kumbleAnil Kumble is confident India can beat Australia in the upcoming series if the batsmen perform the way they did during the previous tour in 2003-04. Kumble, fresh from a 1-0 series win against Pakistan in his first assignment as Test captain, took heart from the manner in which Sri Lanka nearly chased down a target of more than 500 against Australia in the second Test in Hobart last month.

“We have the potential to beat Australia because we have the batting line-up to put runs on the board,” he said during the shoot of a special television programme in Bangalore. “And once we have runs on the board, I believe we have the ability to get 20 wickets.”

Kumble recently trumped Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the Test captaincy, after Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar had turned down the job. “I thought the chance had passed me by, I thought there was a chance when I was vice-captain in 1996,” said Kumble, adding that he didn’t expect to be made captain even as recently as two months ago. “When I became captain was not in my control [but] I think it has come at the right time.”

In front of an audience that included many of his school teachers and college professors, Kumble said being handed the reins of the Test side was a great motivation. The 37-year-old Kumble, whose career spans 17 years and 121 Tests so far, said he had contemplated retirement several times in the past and that Test captaincy was a “shot in the arm” .

In a recorded message, Sourav Ganguly - India’s most successful captain - hailed Kumble’s leadership skills. “The first day in Delhi [ahead of the first Test against Pakistan], the team meeting summed up everything. Certain issues were addressed and from that point I knew things were going to turn out well.”

In a freewheeling chat, Kumble picked Shane Warne over Muttiah Muralitharan as his favourite spinner, termed his maiden Test century (at The Oval against England in June this year) as one of his career highlights, and mentioned that, post-retirement, he would prefer coaching in Bangalore to touring as part of the media.

Source:Cricket News

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