Anil Kumble hopes Test defeats in England, Australia serve as wake-up call

Anil Kumble said defeat may be acceptable if you are playing a dominating opposition, but not when you are the top side Getty Images

Kolkata: Jun 17, 2012

Former Indian cricket captain Anil Kumble Saturday expressed frustration over India losing eight back to back Test matches,but hoped the reverses would serve as a wake-up call in the lead up to upcoming fixtures.

“Defeat may be acceptable if you are playing a dominating opposition, but not when you are the top side,” he said on the sidelines of a programme.

“But I only hope the defeats serve as a wake-up call and the team does well in the coming game,” said the former leg spinner.

On whether the art of leg spin was petering out, he said the tracks now do not favour tweakers.

“Nowadays, all tracks are similar. To encourage spinners, one has to provide suitable conditions”.

About the coming World T20 Cup to be staged in Sri Lanka in September, Kumble said all teams seemed formidable, but specially mentioned title holders England and West Indies.

The leggie – a student of engineering – said he relied more on his engineering skills to outwit batsmen as he was not a big turner of the ball.

“The engineering that I learnt helped me. Especially with the turns, trajectories of the deliveries. I had to analyse my bowling, worked on my angles and variations.”

“I was not as talented as Shane Warne or Muttiah Muralitharan who were such good turners of the ball. So I had to be analytical. I used to look at the videos of the batsmen who were dominating and then find out what the bowlers would do to contain them”.

Asked to pick batsmen who he found tough to bowl, Kumble mentioned Aussie Steve Waugh, West Indian Brian Lara and South African Jacques Kallis.

“Lara would look for every opportunity to attack, while Waugh would patiently wait for the loose balls, and Kallis is to technically sound that he would bore you to give out a loosener.”

Lauding Gautam Gambhir’s success as Kolkata Knight Riders skipper in the IPL, Kumble said it was good that Indian cricket has found another cricketer after Mahendra Singh Dhoni who can lead from the front.

“Gambhir has showed his credentials and ability. It’s nice to have somebody else who can lead from the front,” he said.(IANS)