Anil Kumble, in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo, has thrown light on a variety of aspects, after successfully negotiating his first-ever assignment as Team India coach and overseeing Virat Kohli’s men register a 0-2 Test Series victory in the West Indies in July-August 2016.
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Various Indian pitches—with Kanpur (2008) and Nagpur (2015) being the most prominent—have been rebuked, over the last decade, for the way they were prepared for Test matches involving India and also received warnings from the International Cricket Council (ICC) because of their shoddiness.
Kumble, responding to a question on the Indian pitches and how some of them turn from the first session on day one of a Test, said: “Indian pitches will spin, that is a given. When it will spin is a matter of how the pitch has been prepared.”
With a long home season coming up for Kohli and co. in particular—starting with the three-Test series against New Zealand, who are then followed by England (Five Tests), Bangladesh (a solitary Test) and Australia (Four Tests) as the teams to tour India between September 2016-March 2017—we can expect the Indian pitches to hog the limelight, regardless of how they play.
Anil Kumble, though, said in his interview, that he will not influence a curator or request for a particular type of pitch: “No, it is the job of the curator,” whilst reiterating “home conditions will favour the home team.”
Kumble, who has the third-most number of wickets (619) in Test history till date, could not say how the Indian pitches will be prepared and behave for the series against New Zealand, adding: “there’s a lot of rain leading up to the series so we don’t know what kind of wickets and how much sun these pitches have.”
Cheteshwar Pujara was one of the players who Anil Kumble mentioned as “an important cog in our wheel”, with Ravichandran Ashwin being the other, after India’s Test No. 3 squandered a couple of opportunities in the West Indies to seal his spot in the Indian Test side.
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