Wednesday, July 16, 2008

kumble's interview ahead of srilankan tour

Anil Kumble, India's Test captain, has brushed off suggestions that the team may be distracted by the approaching milestone for Sachin Tendulkar, who needs 172 runs to surpass Brian Lara as the leading run-scorer in Tests. Kumble insisted the team's focus was on a series win.

"We always feel proud that one of our team-mates is going to cross a landmark," Kumble said. "Every time when there is an achievement, it's not for the individual only but also for the team.

"But, the most important factor is that we go there and ensure a series victory. That will be on top of everybody's mind," Kumble said. "I am sure that at some point of time, Sachin will cross the mark. It will be a huge achievement not just for him but also for Indian cricket. Sachin is confident. He has come back fully fit from groin injury. He is really fresh in mind and really confident."

Although India lost to Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final recently, Kumble was confident of the Test team's prospects. "As a Test team we have really performed well, in that sense, we are pretty confident," he said. "In Test cricket, we have done exceptionally well in the last year or so. We have been consistent. I am sure we will be able to put up a good show and ensure a series win."

The umpire review system, where players can challenge the decision of the on-field umpires, will be tested for the first time during the series. "We are going to have a chat about it once we reach Sri Lanka with the officials," Kumble said. "We will see how it goes.

"From whatever I gather, it is the captain who takes the call," he said. "It all depends on what kind of a situation you are in. If it is a lbw decision, then what is important is what the wicketkeeper or the bowler feels because the captain might not be in a position to say whether it was close or worth having a go.

"It all depends on what happens on the field. It is difficult to say right now whether I am going to take the call or say that we will appoint one player to take the call on an issue."

Happy with the practice for the series, Kumble said, "We just followed our plans to spend a day in Chennai before we leave for Sri Lanka. Players have all had a camp in Bangalore for about a week. We have had eight days of training before going in to the Test match. By the time the Test match starts, I am sure the team will be well prepared."

India kick off the series with a three-day warm-up match against a Sri Lanka Board XI, which starts on Friday.

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