In an ideal situation, we should have had two lead-up games, writes Anil Kumble
It’s the night of the second day of our tour opener here in Melbourne and I’m looking at the skies and thinking the weather hasn’t been very kind.
We are slowly settling in after the rather frenetic pace of our departure from India and arrival here, thinking we would manage some breathing space and practice ahead of the Boxing Day Test, only to find that our only practice game is not really going to give us anything at all.
Ideally, it would have been great if the weather had been kinder and we had had a good tour game but that was not to be.
A look at the bowlers
In fact, the whole purpose of my missing out on this game was to have a good look at the fast bowlers.
I have not seen Pankaj Singh in the middle before and also wanted to have a look at the young Ishant, R.P. Singh, who is returning from an injury, and Irfan Pathan, who is making a comeback.
Now I can’t do that. In an ideal situation, we should have had two lead-up games to see this through.
There are two ways of looking at this. You can choose to think endlessly about why we didn’t have more time, why it was so rushed and worry about how this lack of practice will affect us come December 26, or you tell yourself that there’s no point in thinking about what should have been and instead maximise what’s available. That’s what I’m doing now and that’s what I’m suggesting everyone does.
Doing the best
So we’re doing the best we can, using the indoor facilities at the MCG to prepare ourselves everyday, talking to each other, watching videos of the Australian players to have as many plays as possible imprinted in our heads and generally trying to ensure that the four days we have left are put to the best possible use. In that sense, I think we’re okay.
Our conversations have been interesting and will hopefully prove helpful. We had a meeting where we talked about all the positive things that came out of the last tour here in 2003-04.
We’ve been talking to our young bowlers, and in the next couple of days, we’ll be talking to the batters also.
Individually, we are talking to the people who haven’t been to Australia, telling them what to expect; telling them that it’s important to do well individually so that collectively we can do well as a team.
Through this tour, obviously the toughest in contemporary cricket for more than one reason, I’ll also stress the importance of keeping a perspective on what’s happening on the field — that is vital to ensure you prepare yourself.