The five-match Test series against England presents an ideal opportunity for Virat Kolhi & Co to assert their supremacy as the No. 1-ranked side in the world. Former team India coach Anil Kumble believes India does have a good chance of making it count. “I feel we possess a good all-round unit. We have a strong bowling group which can pick 20 wickets consistently. If you look at the batting line-up, we possess a lot of experience.
“On an average, the number of Test matches played by our batsmen stands at about 50. Also, the experience of having toured there before will definitely help as they will be aware of the conditions,” said Kumble, during an event here on Thursday evening.
Kumble felt the chances of Indian spinners playing a key role in India’s fortunes were higher as the Tests were being played in the month of August and September – which is the second half of the English summer. “Spinners will definitely play a major role on this tour of England.
“In the second half of the summer, we do know that the wickets will be more suitable for them. There will be wear and tear on the wickets, and spinners will come into play much earlier than in the first half,” Kumble said, before adding, “Conditions in the first half – in the months of May and June – are more challenging in England (for spinners) because of the rain and dampness.”
Will India look at going with more than one spinner in the playing XI? “May be, yes. But again, it will all depend on the surface they are playing,” Kumble said.
The last one week or so has seen the spotlight firmly on the Yo-Yo fitness test, which came into existence during Kumble’s tenure as India’s coach. Players such as Ambati Rayudu, Mohammed Shami – who failed to meet the set parameter of 16.1 – have missed their places in the squad. Kumble, on his part, feels the BCCI would have – in all probability – communicated to each one of them on the target they needed to achieve in the fitness tests so as to make the team.
“I am sure every player would have been told that this is the benchmark. This is the test and this is the number you need to get or else you are not going to be there is what would have probably been communicated to them (by the board),” he said.
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