Hussain looking forward to Kumble, Bajji

Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2001, 3:35 [IST]
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Mumbai: England cricket team captain Nasser Hussain said here soon after the team's arrival in the early hours that his boys were looking forward to playing the world-class spinners Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble. Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, Hussain said, ours is a young and talented side and we are looking forward to playing Singh and Kumble on Indian pitches which I feel will be a real challenge for the boys.

India is a very strong side at home and I spoke to the Australians before coming and they were very impressed with Indian performance here last summer and they were all praise for the hospitality shown during their stay here, Hussain added.Playing in India is very special for us, specially for me to come back and the security here is very good and it had been so always.

The hotels over here are very fine, the grounds are very good and at the moment playing good cricket is the most important thing for us, Chennai born Hussainsaid.When asked about why the English players were hesitant to come to India, Hussain said, that is all done and dusted now as our people back home were concerned about our safety and some of them were family decisions. But now that we are here we would like to concentrate on cricket.

There was yet another air crash on Tuesday and with 20 per cent cut in the air traffic our families were worried and some of the senior players pulled out for family reasons. Now I am worried about the 16 members who are here and we would like to enjoy playing good cricket, he added.

When asked how tough it would be for his in-experienced side to perform well on spinner-friendly Indian pitches, the England skipper said the pitches over here help seam bowlers initially and we played and beat Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the sub-continent last winter though we would be starting-off as underdogs this time round.

When asked whether he spoke to Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly before coming here as reported in the media, Hussain said, No I have not spoken to Saurav since he was playing county cricket in England.The Indians have a couple of more matches to play in South Africa and I hope they do well and get some runs before I get a chance to catch up with them (Saurav and others) here, he added.

Right now I want to concentrate on my boys and the team management and my coach (Duncan Fletcher) as they are the people who will be playing and I am really looking forward to some net practice after a day's rest on Thursday, the stylish middle order batsman said. PTI

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