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India braced for Proteas challenge: Capt. Kumble

Published: Sunday, March 23, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
 
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Chennai: Team India Test captain Anil Kumble is confident about his unit seeing off the challenge from the in-form South Africa in the three-match Test series beginning from March 26.

Addressing a news conference here on Saturday, Kumble said the players had been playing good cricket and had performed exceptionally well in the last one year.

"As a team, we have jelled very well. We have very good results in the last one-year or so. Especially in Test cricket, we have done exceptionally well throughout the last three or four years. It's important to take the momentum forward. In terms of the team, I can assure you that there is nothing as seniors (versus) juniors," he said.

Spiking further controversy and putting to rest the seniors versus juniors' debate, Kumble dismissed the matter as media sensationalism and said that the focus would be to play to the full potential, be committed to the roles and work for the success of the team.

"I think the senior, junior (controversy) is going on for too long. It's not definitely what the team thinks. This is what the media has made out to be," he added.

Earlier, South African team's skipper Graeme Smith said that his team was looking forward to a close series in India and would carry forward the momentum gained from successes in Pakistan last year and Bangladesh recently.

Former South Africa opening batsman Gary Kirsten will begin his innings as Team India coach with the forthcoming series beginning in Chennai from March26.

The final two Test matches would be played at Ahmedabad and Kanpur on April 3 and 11 respectively.

Meanwhile, the Indian squad upbeat after the recent success against the Australians had a long practice session in the Chidambaram Stadium.

Squads:

India: Wasim Jaffer, Vireder Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, V V S Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk),  Irfan Pathan, Anil Kumble (capt), Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Piyush Chawla, Rudra Pratap Singh and Sreesanth.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher (wk), AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Monde Zondeki and Charl Langeveldt.

ANI 

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