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Strike rate is for the bowlers: Kumble
28th September 2016
Team India coach Anil Kumble today said he was not worried about the pitch at Eden Gardens and hoped rain will not play spoilsport during the second Test commencing September 30.
India take on New Zealand at this historic ground with the home team up 1-0 with a win in the first Test at Kanpur.
"I have not seen the wicket. Yes its early in the season. There is rain in the air. But it will be a good wicket. As I have said before we are not too worried about the pitch. We have the squad to play on any kind of surface. I only hope rain does not play spoilsport during the Test match," Kumble said.
Asked to comment on the issue of strike rate of batsmen during the Test matches, a plain talking Kumble was also sarcastic in parts: "I am a bit old fashioned. There is a lot of talk about strike rates after T20 came into play. When I was a cricketer strike rate was meant for bowlers. Test cricket is all about its unpredictability. You need different skill sets and every session is different from the other. You play according to a situation. For me in Tests strike rate is still relevant for the bowlers."
On Gautam Gambhir's chance of coming back to the playing XI, he said: "Obviously I am not going to give up the combination. But yes Gautam has scored lots of runs in the domestic cricket and he has been called to replace K L Rahul who injured himself in the first Test. Rahul batted brilliantly, but its sad that he got injured. There is this problem with the opening slot that our players are getting injured. Murali (Vijay) got injured in West Indies. Gambhir is there in the 15," Kumble said.
When quizzed that if that means that Cheteshwar Pujara could play more freely now that Gambhir will most probably open, he said: "He never had any pressure. He is a very important cog in the team. In the team every player has a set of roles and responssibilities and as long as they fulfill that there is no pressure on anyone. Pujara has been consistant and is a very important part of the team."
Talking about Rohit Sharma, Kumble lauded him for his half century in the second innings of the Kanpur Test that literally turned the test match on its head and helped India secure the victory. "It was a very important innings, the one he (Rohit Sharma) played with (Rivender) Jadeja. They dominated that session and that helped us secure the victory to a great extent."
Asked about Martin Guptill's poor form, he said: "It is not easy to play the natural game coming here." And then added: "From India's perspective we will hope his poor run continues. For any Test playing team it is very important to get the openers early. We also try that. " [ CAB MEDIA TEAM ]