Indian cricket team's head coach Anil Kumble, on Monday, said that he will be mainly focusing on the team performance rather than scrutinize how pitches are designed. The former Indian international has also expressed concerns about his players' fitness ahead of the tight schedule.
The Indian cricket team is about to embark on a long season at home where they will play 8 Tests across three months in what looks like a gruelling schedule for Virat Kohli's men. After a successful tour of the West Indies, which they won 2-0, the team now gears up to face New Zealand who are currently ranked seventh in the ICC Test rankings.
It has also been a habit for the Indian media to criticize the pitch conditions if India loses Tests at home, often shedding bad light on the pitch curators who just try to make surfaces that will help the teams play competitive cricket. Reminiscing the questions he faced in his first press conference as India's Test captain, head coach Anil Kumble said, “When I was captain, the first question in a media conference when we played in India was ‘what do you think of the pitch?’ to which Kumble replied, “I am more concerned about what kind of cricket we play on that pitch.The Indian media certainly scrutinises the pitch more than any other media. Everybody wants to either not read anything or read too much into what happens off the first ball that is bowled. If you want to be the No. 1 team, you shouldn’t worry about pitches.”
Ahead of the tight schedule which India will face during the course of the next few months, Kumble felt that it would be a challenge to keep the squad fresh and injury free during the entire time.
“Thirteen Test matches with three to four days’ gap and even during that gap, there will one day of travel, it (fitness) is going to be a challenge. We were conscious of that even in the West Indies. It is crucial that the squad remains physically fit and goes through those 13 games,” Kumble told Sportskeeda.
Following the series against New Zealand, which will be played between September 22 and October 29, the team will face off against England in a 5-match Test series which begins on November 9.