We want to go for the kill at Eden, says Kumble

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Kolkata: India's newly-appointed Test captain Anil Kumble said the ''Men In Blue'' will go for the kill in the second Test against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens here, to seal the series and break the visitors record of not losing a single series on Indian soil since 1979-80.

India has already won the first Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla by a convincing six wickets and is riding the crest now with the vaunted top order coming into their elements.

Indian skipper Anil Kumble meant business and before the Kolkata Test, he made it clear that he is eyeing to wrap up the series here, without leaving it for Bangalore.

''We want to wrap up the Test series with a win here. India has not won a single Test series against Pakistan on our home soil. We want to do that. We hope to carry on the momentum from the Delhi Test and put up a formidable performance,'' Kumble said.

''We don't want to let them off the hook. We have to tighten the screws as early as possible and put up a big score before them or get them out cheaply,'' he added.

With the exception of Dinesh Karthik, everyone else has been among runs. While Wasim Jaffer was elegant on his back and front foot cutting and driving, Rahul Dravid looked in vintage touch. On the other hand, Sourav Ganguly looked in his flamboyant best, while Sachin Tendulkar anchored the victory to show he is the genius of Indian cricket.

Kumble said there was a role for everyone to play in the team.

''We are playing as an unit and we hope to continue to do that.

There are certain places where we could have done better. Like in the first innings after the unfortunate run-out, we lost a few wickets in a heap. That is something we would like to correct.''

Speaking about India's strong middle-order batting, he said, ''This is Dravid's favourite ground and the last time he played Pakistan here, he scored two centuries in back-to-back innings. I hope he lives up to his form.''

Kumble, who is nicknamed 'The Jumbo', also announced that Sourav Ganguly will play a greater role with the ball in his home ground in addition to his batting responsibilities. The Indian skipper also hinted at maintaing the same bowling ombination for the Kolkata Test.

Asked if MS Dhoni had recovered fully, he said, ''We are hearing it from the media that Dhoni is unfit. As far as we are concerned he was always fit.'' On whether it was a fair assumption that the winning combination would be retained here, he said, ''That is a very fair assumption.

Everyone is fit for selection. But the final eleven will be decided only after talking to Chairman of Selectors Dilip Vensargar after his arrival this evening.''

Commenting on the Pakistan side, Kumble said, ''They do feel the absence of Inzamam-ul Haq who had been a pillar of their middle-order batting. But they are a good side and if some of the key players are dropped due to illness it will be unfortunate. We would like to play the best Pakistan side.''

Asked about the importance of the toss and the nature of the Eden wicket, the skipper said, ''We would rather try to keep things within our control. I have kept toss out of my equation. If we bat first we have to put up a big score, if we bowl first we have to take quick wickets.''

Commenting on the wicket, he said, ''It would be a traditional Eden pitch. The wicket would be a slow turner and it would take spin later in the match.''

Asked if it would be his last appearance at the Eden, he said, ''For me every match is my last match. So I want to give my best every time. I don't know about the itinerary so can't comment about whether I will come back here.'' ''Maybe I will come back in the ODI side or even in a Twenty20 team,'' he added with a smile.

On whether he had the jitters before going into the Delhi Test as captain, Kumble said, ''Yes I felt nervous in the morning. But once I cross the rope into the ground, the nerves cooled down.''


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