India vs Australia | No need to curb aggression, says Anil Kumble

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India vs Australia | No need to curb aggression, says Anil Kumble

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SportsCafe Desk


Anil Kumble has said that he won’t ask his players to tone down their natural instinct ahead of the third Test between India and Australia in Ranchi. Kumble insists that the team is focused on playing cricket rather than thinking about all the issues surrounding DRS and the pitches in the series.

I don’t want to curb any natural instinct of the players as long as they go out there and do what is expected of them. I don’t think we need to read too much into the aggression. Every player has his own way of having a game face.

“And that’s what you want. You want everyone to go out there and show what they are capable of. This is a very important series. It’s 1-1. Both teams will come hard in this game. I’m sure cricket will be the winner,” Kumble told the reporters ahead of the third Test, which is scheduled to start from March 16.

The DRS-gate during the second Test in Bengaluru grabbed the headlines before the BCCI and Cricket Australia issued a joint statement on the situation. Kumble has lauded the board for stepping in when it mattered.

“As custodians of this great game, we believe it’s important that we look after the game. Key stakeholders are the players and they certainly understand their responsibility.

“I think what was important was to focus back on the game. I am very glad the BCCI took a very matured call with Cricket Australia and issued a joint statement that cricket needs to move on and moved out from whatever happened in Bangalore.

“That I think is important because focus has to be on the game. I thought we made a really fantastic comeback after losing the first Test. It was very rewarding,” he added.

When asked whether Steve Smith and Virat Kohli will meet before the Test in Ranchi, Kumble replied in positive. He said, “Yes they will meet.”

The former Indian skipper went on to add that all the talks in the media regarding the state of the pitches or the use of DRS has not bothered his team. He said, “It doesn’t affect our game. We only want to play. We are not doing the talking but you are. We are just playing and thinking about the game on the field.”

Speaking about India’s brilliant comeback in the second Test, Kumble highlighted the strength in character the team showed.

“I think Day 2 (of Bangalore Test) was fantastic. There was attrition. Only 190 runs were scored and six wickets were taken but the intensity and control with which our bowlers bowled, especially the pacers, showed character. That’s what you want to see in a team – a lot of character and pride in doing things and coming back and winning a Test match.

“What stood out for me was KL Rahul’s batting in both innings in Bangalore and the partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. If you look at the series so far we haven’t had a wicket-less session. But we scored more than 90 runs in that session without losing a wicket. That was a defining moment,” he added.

The 46-year-old’s journey so far, at the helm, has been a successful one, and he has credited the team for it. He said, “It’s good we are playing so well consistently. From the West Indies series there have been many milestones. We have won all series. Virat Kohli has hit four double hundreds, (Ravichandran) Ashwin is the fastest to reach to 250 wickets.

“The boys responded well. Not easy to play such a long season. (Mohammed) Shami is injured. We have had some injuries. If you are performing at home it helps. It’s not as if one individual has played. We would want to finish last two Tests in a good way. We hope for a result.”

The former leggie also showered praises on Umesh Yadav and India’s spin duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

“The way Umesh has bowled, given breakthroughs, credit to him for the maturity he’s shown. Every time he bowled he looked like getting a fifer. Happy for Ashwin but also glad how (Ravindra) Jadeja came up the rankings,” Kumble told the reporters.

The third Test will be the first international Test match being hosted at Ranchi, and Kumble has hoped that MS Dhoni can make it to the game. He said, “Without MS it might look different. I know he is playing for Jharkhand but I hope he can make it some day. I hope Ranchi people come to support us in what is a historic moment.”

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