World Cup to be my last ODI tournament: Kumble

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Veteran Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble will bid adieu to his ODI career after next month's World Cup in West Indies.

In an interview to CNN-IBN, Kumble said the World Cup will be the last time he will be seen in coloured clothing.

''It will probably be the last one-day series for me and it will be challenging,'' Kumble said.

A veteran of 270 ODIs, Kumble is India's leading wicket taker with 334 scalps. Yet he has not been a regular in the side like Harbhajan Singh and Ramesh Powar. Kumble, who has played 17 World Cup matches and has 28 wickets to his name, said he was excited after returning to the ODI fold and was looking forward to playing a big role in the mega-event next month.

''The World Cup is a tournament everyone looks up to. The last world cup was good for India, we played really well as a team. I hope I will be able to play a much bigger role this time,'' he said.

Despite being the country's leading wicket-taker, Kumble was kept out of the team for more than a year and was brought back in the series against South Africa last year. Kumble has, however, taken it in his stride.

''ODIs are different to Tests. I have the experience of playing the ODI format for the last 16-17 years. I did well in the West Indies last year, it will help my confidence,'' he said.

Kumble's ODI form since his return has not been very good, he played two matches against the West Indies and took three wickets for 94 runs. His only outing against Sri Lanka saw him go for 59 runs in 10 overs. But Kumble isn't too worried.

''It is unfair to judge performance spread over 3 matches on good batting surfaces. You cannot always get 3-4 wickets per match. The main purpose is to restrict runs. I have the experience and hence I am not worried,'' he explained.

Speaking about India's chances at the World Cup, Kumble said the Men in Blue were definitely strong contenders to lift the title after finishing runners-up in the last edition.

''We have a very good chance of winning the World Cup. We go in as finalists of the last tournament and we have as good a chance as any other team. We have comeback from difficult situations in the last two series (against West Indies and Sri Lanka) to win. We have a good blend of youth and experience. We did well in West Indies last year. We should win,'' he said.


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