Team focussed on winning: Kumble

India captain Anil Kumble says his team has a history of bouncing back when pushed to the wall.

updated: April 11, 2008 14:53 IST
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Indian captain Anil Kumble on Thursday put up a bold face ahead of the must-win third and final cricket Test against South Africa, saying past results have proved that his team was capable of bouncing back when pushed to the wall.

Kumble said the defeat in the second Test in Ahmedabad has not dented the team's confidence and his players were "fully focussed" to protect their impressive track record at home.

"Whenever we have been pushed to the wall, we have done well. We have done it against Australia and other teams in the past and there is no reason why we can't do it again," he said on the eve of the match which India need to win to level the series 1-1.

"We have to go into the match with a positive frame of mind. We have lost before and have come back strongly, so we just have to do it again," said an injured Kumble, whose availability for the match will be decided only on Friday.

Asked whether the Green Park track would give his bowlers an advantage, Kumble said, "We have to play in whatever conditions that are given to us. We always try to take the pitch and the toss out of the equation. But yes, it looks a dry wicket."

On whether the Indians were contemplating going into the match with three specialist spinners, he said, "We still haven't finalised anything yet. We will have a meeting this evening, we will decide the team tomorrow morning."

The Indian captain said he was confident that his bowlers would be able to exploit the conditions here and felt the team had to click collectively to get the desired results.

"Bowlers need to exploit the conditions. I think we have the capabilities to take 20 wickets and our batsmen have the ability to put up a big score on the board. We are prepared for the game," he said.

When reminded that his own performance has not been up to the expectations in the series so far, he shot back, "It is just not one bowler who picks up wicket. It is the team which performs."

"In Chennai, we got difficult conditions and it was not easy to bowl on that track. In Ahmedabad, we had one bad session (on the opening day) in the last six years. It does not happen always. Had we got the wicket of (Jacques) Kallis or AB de Villiers early, things would have been different."

Kumble, however, lavished praise on the South Africans and said they have emerged as a very good team.

"They are a good side, we also have a good side. We have a few plans for them and let's see if we can exploit that," he said.

The veteran spinner said the Indians have a very good record at home and it was important to keep that record intact.

"Every Test is important. We have a good record at home and it is important to keep it that way," he said.

Asked whether local boy Mohammad Kaif had any chance of playing the match, he said "at the moment Yuvraj Singh is ahead of Kaif."