Probably our best chance, says Kumble

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BIG ROLE TO PLAY: Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble will have to get their act together for India to put it across the Aussies.
BIG ROLE TO PLAY: Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble will have to get their act together for India to put it across the Aussies.

Principal Correspondent

He rules out any unsavoury fallout of the controversies of the last series in Australia

Bangalore: Anil Kumble believes that India’s finest opportunity of scoring a Test series victory over Australia is right now. “This is the best possible chance of winning the series after having prepared exceptionally well in the lead up to the Tests,” Kumble told the media on the penultimate day of the preparatory camp at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.

The Indian Test skipper however did not attach much importance to the inexperience factor of the Aussies while reiterating his team’s desire to clinch the series. “Their inexperience is probably in Indian conditions but it is more or less the same side that we played in Australia a year ago. At the same time we will try and take advantage of playing here and this is probably our best chance to get a victory.

“In the last couple of series we have come close to doing that against them and this is a great opportunity,” Kumble said.

On Ganguly’s inclusion

Kumble handled repeated queries on Sourav Ganguly’s inclusion in the squad with a touch of exasperation.

“He was in the last Test match as well. What’s the change? I don’t see any change,” Kumble said and when asked about reports in a section of the media that alluded to his ‘opposition’ to Ganguly’s inclusion, the skipper added: “Reports can say a lot of things and I cannot really divulge what happened in the selection committee meeting. He was part of the last Test match and he is part of this series as well. There has been no difference.”

Kumble ruled out any unsavoury fallout of the controversies of the last series in Australia.

“What happened was part of the last series. We played good competitive cricket in Australia but most people don’t remember that. I am sure it will be good competitive cricket when India play Australia and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

He also mentioned that despite the bonhomie triggered by the IPL, the players are keen to be at their competitive best. “Once you take the field here, the competition will be there and we would like to go out there and win,” Kumble said besides adding that Greg Chappell’s presence in the Aussie ranks won’t affect the way the Indian team approaches the series.

Kumble also ruled out the role of pitches affecting team plans.

“I am not concerned about the pitch and the toss. As a team, our preparation is to go out there and get the maximum runs on the board and get 20 wickets.

“If we put runs on the board then we can put pressure on the Aussies and get wickets and I think we have the quality to do that.”

Praises Mishra

The skipper praised Amit Mishra but refused to divulge whether he is considering fielding three spinners in the playing XI.

“He has done exceptionally well in domestic cricket for the last six to seven years and as for playing three spinners, it all depends on the conditions.”

Kumble also echoed the “it is still early days” line when asked about a probable pact with Ricky Ponting on taking the fielder’s word on close catches.

Meanwhile, the players had a round of optional nets and the notable absentees were Virender Sehwag, Mohammed Kaif and R.P. Singh.

Kaif has gone back home for Ramzan festivities while R.P. Singh is in Chennai for India ‘A’s match against New Zealand ‘A’.

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