We'd like to keep the record against Aus: Kumble

Speaking exclusively to NDTV, veteran leg spinner Anil Kumble said his team has the drive to win the Test series against Australia.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
  • Total Shares


The first test between India and Australia begins in Bangalore on Wednesday and the home team will depend a lot on spin and what Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh are able to do under home conditions. Veteran leg spinner Anil Kumble, spoke exclusively to NDTV 24X7 in Bangalore on the great Indo-Aussie clash. NDTV: Anil, India Vs Australia, this is a big one. How is it that the world champions have not been able to beat India in India for 35 years now? Anil Kumble: I think it's going to be a fantastic series, everybody is looking forward to - and it will be a tough one. Because they are pretty keen to set the record straight but I think we have a great chance of winning against them. We have done well in the past and we came close to winning the series in Australia as well, so everyone is looking forward to that. I think we've played extremely well and we've always done well at home and the last 14 years that I've played for India, the only series we lost was the one against South Africa. So we have a pretty good record and we would like to keep it that way. NDTV: India is coming into this series after a rather mediocre performance in the last four one-day international series. What effect does this have on team morale? Kumble: I think it's a one-day tournament that we played in the last couple of months. And yes, the batsmen are not finding it easy to get the runs. Somehow the top order seems to be... but that is only in the one dayers. We are playing at home, in our conditions. In the last test matches that we played - we won a test series in Pakistan so I think everybody would be going into this test series looking back at the Pakistan test series rather than the one-dayers that we played recently. I think we have a pretty good record in the test matches recently so we would like to take that confidence into this. NDTV: How do you compare our batting line-ups? Kumble: We have put up big scores, if you look back at the last 7 test matches that have been played this year, our batsmen have been able to put up scores close to 400 or more than that. I mean, the Sydney test match, the last one we played against Australia we scored 700 plus. So we have a very good batting line-up, so if we get to playing at our best we will be able to achieve there again. India's batting order while great on paper has not been very consistent of late. NDTV: Compared to the great opening team of Australia, India doesn't have a fixed opening team for the tests. What kind of effect does this have? Kumble: It's all left to the captain. I think we did well in Australia and Pakistan with our opening partnerships and we hope that continues. NDTV: And how do you compare our bowling? Kumble: I think we have done well if you look at the last season. We have been able to get 20 wickets on any surface. So we fancy our chances. NDTV: Are the Australian fast bowlers neutralised to some extent on our pitches? Kumble: Glenn McGrath has got 400 test wickets so he is a great bowler. Kasprowicz has done well, Gillespie is a good bowler, Brett Lee - the conditions, yes, we are used to these conditions, but it is important that we get the runs on the board. NDTV: The perception is that it all depends on the spinners this time round - that there is going to be a lot of responsibility on you spinners. How do you see this? Kumble: Everybody will have to chip in and it will be good if the fast bowlers get a good start and it will help us - help the spinners if they can get early wickets, early breakthroughs it'll definitely help the spinners and I am hoping that it will happen. NDTV: There has been a lot of talk recently about the new aggression in the Indian team. How do you compare the attitudes of the Indian and the Australian teams? Kumble: In international cricket you need to be aggressive if you have to perform consistently. Aggression doesn't mean that you need to exchange words or anything, but it's the body language. I think we have done well in that aspect and the Aussies are definitely very aggressive and their body language says that on the field and we have matched them in the past and we would like to go one up even this time around. NDTV: There has been a history between Ganguly and the Australians. He is not really a hot favourite of the team. Do you anticipate any sparks this time? Kumble: I don't think so. He is respected througout the international scene and I don't think there is anything bad against the captain. It is just a psychological thing that you do and everyone is aware of that. NDTV:And finally, who is going to win the series? Kumble: It's India vs. Australia, it is definitely going to be a good series and we hope we don't disappoint the fans. We definitely fancy our chances - we have done well, we have a very good record in India and I we should be able to do it again.