India skipper Anil Kumble on Wednesday lashed out at the media for making "uncharitable comments" on his form and fitness during the drawn opening Test against Australia.
The veteran leg-spinner conceded 160 runs in 51 wicketless overs, bowling only eight overs in the second innings because of a sore shoulder. It was his worst-ever performance in 131 Tests.
"Over the past few days, given all the media attention I have received before and during the match, with some uncharitable comments on my fitness and retirement and performance as a player and captain, it does seem like I'm back in Australia again," Kumble wrote in his column in the Hindu newspaper.
"That time saw me unfortunately having to split my time between playing cricket and handling a host of unnecessary off-the-field issues, instead of being able to concentrate on playing the game and handling my team.
"I didn't really expect to have to go through this all over again on my home turf."
Kumble was referring to an ill-tempered series in Australia earlier this year that the hosts won 2-1 amid deteriorating relations between the two sides.
India, unhappy with umpiring decisions in the second Test in Sydney, almost abandoned the tour when all-rounder Andrew Symonds levelled racial abuse charges against spinner Harbhajan Singh.
"Also, there's been high praise for the way Australia played (in the first Test)," said Kumble, the world's third-highest wicket-taker with 616 scalps.
"Well, good for the Aussies, but I have a point to make here: In all the talk of aggressive, champion sides, it might make sense for someone to ask why 83 overs on a fifth-day pitch wasn't enough time to finish the job."
Australia grabbed just four wickets in 73 overs on the last day of the opening Test in Bangalore on Monday before play was called off due to bad light with 10 overs remaining.
India finished at 177-4 chasing a 299-run target.
"It's perhaps easy to say one must ignore the media but for any normal person that's a difficult ask, given the media's overwhelming presence in cricket," said Kumble.
"I would really appreciate if certain people realise that cricket is not spoken, it's played and we, the Indian team, are out there to play it."
The Indian skipper said he was optimistic he would regaining fitness for the second Test, which starts in Mohali on Friday.
"I am hopeful the shoulder injury I picked up during the match should be fine by the second Test and that it will be business as usual thereafter," said Kumble, who turns 38 on Friday.
"I can't promise things I have no control over, but the one thing that I can guarantee is that I won't give up the fight. We won't.
"The belief that I have in my team, and the belief that the team has in me is what matters the most. When I decide to make a final bow, I'll go on my own terms."
Speculation over the careers of five senior players, including Kumble, mounted after India's 2-1 defeat in a Test series in Sri Lanka in August. The others were Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Venkatsai Laxman.
Ganguly, 36, has already announced he will retire after the ongoing series.