India have potential to win in Australia, says Kumble
India have the potential to end Australia’s 14-test winning streak and clinch their first series victory in the country during their upcoming tour, captain Anil Kumble said on Sunday.
“The last time around we came pretty close to winning the series. We have the potential in the team to go out there and do it again,” the leg spinner told a news conference ahead of the team’s departure on Monday. “That will be the aim.”
India drew a four-test series 1-1 on their previous tour of Australia in 2003-04 after going 1-0 up. However, the hosts have not lost a test since August 2005 in England and could better their record of 16 wins during the four-match series which starts in Melbourne on Dec. 26.
“For some of the senior players this will be the last tour of Australia. It will be a great challenge for all of us,” said Kumble.
It will be the final tour of Australia for batsmen Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly and Vangipurappu Laxman, as well as the skipper. India are next due to visit Australia in 2011.
“If you look at the quality in the side, the people who have been playing, the experience in the side, we have the ability. to adjust,” said Kumble, who led India to a 1-0 home series victory over Pakistan this month after being handed the test captaincy in September when Dravid quit the job to concentrate on his batting.
“If you look at our middle order, we have about 30,000 runs there. That’s a lot of test runs and experience that we have.
“If we can do that consistently (put runs on the board) we have the bowling to pick up 20 wickets,” added the 37-year-old.
India’s bowling attack has two inexperienced pacers in Ishant Sharma and uncapped Pankaj Singh but Kumble was confident of their ability.
“We have the experience in Zaheer (Khan) and RP (Singh). Irfan’s (Pathan) played in Australia before. Ishant is very promising and Pankaj is exciting. He’s tall, hits the deck hard and a good option to have,” said Kumble.
India recalled explosive opener Virender Sehwag on account of his experience even though he has struggled for runs in domestic cricket.
India open with a three-day tour match against Victoria from Thursday. The four tests will be followed by a one-day tri-series also involving Sri Lanka.