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Kumble keeping fingers crossed for World Cup

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London:Ignored for next month's tri-series in Sri Lanka and yet in Team India's scheme of things, Anil Kumble is not very sure about what future has in store for him but remains optimistic of playing in the World Cup.

As many as 533 Test wickets and another 329 scalps in the shorter version of the game, have failed to earn the selectors' nod and Kumble would be shouldering Surrey responsibilities when his Team India colleagues would fight the tri-series in Sri Lanka, which also features South Africa.

''I've been told that I'm still in the scheme of things for the bigger tournaments. So I haven't ruled out the World Cup,'' Kumble told BBC Sports.

He admitted it rankled him after he was axed from the ODI squad soon after the 2003 World Cup but asserts life goes on.

''Being left out of the One-day squad did upset me after the 2003 World Cup and it affected my performance but I decided not to worry about it.

''I need to get some One-day games under my belt but hopefully I will get some opportunities with Surrey,'' said the veteran leggie.

Talking about Team India, Kumble felt Sachin Tendulkar's return from a shoulder surgery would shore up the side.

''It is good for India and for cricket to have Sachin back. He has had more than his fair share of injuries but he has coped with them all really well so he is bound to come back stronger for it.

''With his batting and overall skills and as a mentor for the younger lads, he brings so much to the team. Opposition teams still fear him and that obviously helps,'' he opined.

He did not have much to show in his Surrey debut but Kumble impressed with his grit and determination and bowled 36 long overs in the sweltering heat against Somerset and finished with 1-127 in which Justin Langer slammed a record-breaking 342.

''It was not a good start but things can only get better. When a guy of that calibre puts his head down and just waits for a good delivery to get him out, it is pretty hard.

''I almost got him in the first over when he very nearly knocked it onto the stumps but that was it,'' Kumble said.

Kumble revealed he got a number of offers but settled for Surrey after it ticked all his boxes.

''I always wanted to play at The Brit Oval and hopefully after this hot weather, it will spin a lot more so I can take a few wickets and help Surrey get promoted.

''It is important to keep challenging yourself - both your game and the body - otherwise you tend to lose motivation,'' he added.

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