Test cricket will survive, says Kumble

Anil Kumble assured doubting thomases about the survival of Test cricket in the wake of onslaught of the immensely popular Twenty20 cricket.

updated: May 28, 2009 13:19 IST
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Retired leg spin ace Anil Kumble on Thursday assured doubting thomases about the survival of Test cricket in the wake of onslaught of the immensely popular Twenty20 cricket and its most potent brand - the IPL.

"I don't know what exactly did Chris Gayle say in England (after joining his West Indian teammates just two days before the first of a two-Test series following his stint with Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL). I just read reports and don't think he said Test cricket will die," Kumble said here.

"As far as I am concerned Test cricket is the ultimate and I looked up to the Test players in my early days and wanted to play Tests. Twenty20 cricket is hugely popular now with 12-13 year olds. I think Test cricket, and in fact all three formats, will survive", he said at a promotional event.

Kumble, named the man of the match for his 4-16 haul in the IPL final when captaining Bangalore Royal Challengers against eventual champions Deccan Chargers in South Africa's Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, said a changed mindset from last year was the key to his own and his team's success.

"The change of mindset was the key. When I took charge of the team (from England batsman Kevin Pietersen, I told my players 'let's go out there and enjoy'. That message helped as we won the next two games," he said.

About his own brilliant bowling displays of 5 for 5 (against Rajasthan Royals on Day 1) and 4 for 16 (final), Kumble said he succeeded because he bowled slower than normal in the air. "I tried to bowl real slow," he said.

Kumble said a pattern seems to have emerged in this format with the batting side preferring to slog it out in the first six overs for the loss of a few wickets and then go all out again in the last four.

He also said strategic breaks, introduced after every 10 overs, helped the bowling side more than the batting side.

"I brought on my regular bowlers and not non regulars immediately after the strategic breaks for getting wickets".

Though sounding pleased with the man of the match, for a losing cause, in the final, Kumble said he would have gladly swapped it for the ultimate trophy triumph.

"I would have swapped the MoM for the trophy. Even without a partnership going we were a hit away (from winning the title)", he said about the team's narrow loss to Deccan Chargers in the pulsating summit clash last Sunday.

Asked about retired players having done so well, Mathew Hayden (for Chennai Super Kings) and Adam Gilchrist (Deccan Chargers) other than himself, Kumble felt it was perhaps because there was less pressure on them.

"There's no one to scrutinise you after the tourney", he said.