India's Kumble hints at playing two spinners against Australia

India's Kumble hints at playing
two spinners against Australia

India may playing two spinners to capitalize on their batting depth to pressure Australia in today's opening match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, skipper Anil Kumble said yesterday.
Kumble, fresh from leading India to a home series triumph over Pakistan, said the team would be playing to their strengths and are contemplating using both spinners, himself and Harbhajan Singh, to go after the 20 Australian wickets and victory.
"Yes, there is a case for playing two spinners, but it all depends on how the pitch looks the morning of the match ... we will take a final call tomorrow morning," Kumble told his match-eve press conference here yesterday.
The Indians have been talking up their chances of inflicting their first series win in Australia and Australia's first home series defeat in 14 years.
To do that, Kumble said India would focus on their own strengths to bring off their pinnacle achievement against the world Test champions in the four-Test series.
"I think the key to winning any Test match is to score runs and, if you have runs on the board, then any team can get under pressure," he said. "That will be the thing, try and get runs on the board so you can put pressure on the opposition and get 20 wickets."
"If we play to our strength, our batting is definitely our strength, (and) I know our batters can fire," he added. "We have the potential to do that (and) it's important for us to stick with our strengths and do the job."
The Melbourne Cricket Ground wicket is expected to favor the fast bowlers early, before it starts taking turn later in the Boxing Day Test match.
"It is important to get the momentum early on," Kumble said. "But, having said that, in Test cricket you still have time to catch up."
Kumble, the third all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests with 584 wickets, said he was looking forward to the challenge of humbling Australia on their home pitches.
"It's a very important tour for all of us," Kumble said. "Personally, at least for me, this definitely will be my last tour of Australia with the Indian team so it will be very special to go back with a victory.
"Everyone is aware of this, it's not just the senior players, but even the younger players who are coming here for the first time are really excited to do well.
"It's a challenge, but I think we've all really done well to accept that challenge and we're ready for it," he said. "I think we have a good chance to do well and get the right result."
Batsman Sourav Ganguly, who was skipper when India won the famous 2001 series on the subcontinent 2-1 and then when the tourists retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 1-1 series draw here in 2003/04, said India were the best test Australia would get.
"If you look at the record for the last five or six years, in Test cricket we have competed with them, beaten them, so it's going to be a good series," Ganguly said. "We know they're a tough side whether it's home or away, but we also have the side to play well.
"The Australians realize, and I've been friends with a few of them, that we are the only team which competes with them better than any other team in the world," he added. "That makes this series very interesting, but verbals are part and parcel of sport."

Updated : 2021-03-01 18:14 GMT+08:00