Wed, Feb 22, 2017 | updated 04:46 AM IST

Would like to 'measure up' to how we played against Black Caps: Kumble

Updated: Nov 06, 2016 16:57 IST

Rajkot (Gujarat) [India], Nov. 6 (ANI): Brimming with confidence after whitewashing New Zealand in the recently concluded three-match Test series, India's head coach Anil Kumble has insisted the team would be looking to cash in on the weaknesses of England, their next opponent in the upcoming five-match Test series.

After the team's first practice session before the first Test starting in Rajkot from November 9, Kumble on Sunday said England are a quality side and with the likes of Alastair Cook and Joe Root, who have played before as well in the Indian conditions, it would not be an easy task for the Virat Kohli-led side to overpower their opponents.

"New Zealand was a hard-fought series. The result shows a 3-0 win to us (India), but we knew how hard we had to work to win the series. What was very nice to see during the series was that all the three surfaces (Kanpur, Kolkata and Indore) were very different and our team adapted to the conditions and that's our strength. Yes, we certainly look at the opposition and find out what their strengths and weaknesses are," the veteran leg-spinner told the reporters.

"Having said that England are a quality side. Alastair Cook has been here a number of occasions. He's a quality player at the top and that's something we will be looking at. There is Joe Root and also their bowling attack is something that has troubled us in the past. What we would like to focus on is what we can do, and how we can measure up to and that's how we played against New Zealand," he added.

The 46-year-old, however, asserted that the team is a bit disappointed with injuries, especially the one to Rohit Sharma.

"We are a bit disappointed with some of the injuries that have happened. But that is part and parcel of the game. It's unfortunate, especially I feel sorry for Rohit because he was really doing well in the Test format. We all know importance of Rohit in the shorter format of the game. It is really unfortunate that he misses out of this Test series," Kumble said.

Meanwhile, the Indian head coach also expressed happiness with the preparation ahead of the five-match Test series.

"We had four or five days break after the series against New Zealand. We are playing a five Test series after a long time. We are happy with our preparation. It's after quite a while that a five-match Test series is being played in India. We are looking forward to it," he said.

Kumble didn't forget to heap praise on Hardik Pandya, who earned his spot in the Test squad on the back of his promising performance against the Black Caps in the five-match ODI series, saying the latter's inclusion gives the team a number of options.

"He is an extremely talented player. When he first came into IPL, he showed what he's capable of; I think the potential Hardik has, has been seen by all. When he bowled in Dharamsala and batted in Delhi, one could see that he's a quality player. That's why we are backing him in this series as well. We all understand the importance of an all-rounder, as a fifth bowler and bat in the lower order, that's a great option to have," he said.

"We are really looking as how Hardik develops. We don't want to put too much pressure on him, he will have all the freedom to express himself and not worry about Test cricket, whenever he gets the opportunity. He is a quality player whom we will back and yes, he will only get better. The more he plays, better he will get and it's a nice thing to have an all-rounder in the squad," he added.

The head coach also informed that the management has not yet decided the team combination they would be going in the Rajkot Test.

"We still have not figured out the combination (for the first Test); everyone is available. With Hardik (Pandya) being part of the squad, we have more options. This is the first Test that will happen at Rajkot. India has played One-Day cricket and Twenty20 here. But we don't know how the wicket will behave in a Test match. It looks a good surface. We still have a couple of days to decide the team for the Test match," he said.

While India thumped New Zealand, England is coming off a dismal tour of Bangladesh where they suffered a humiliating loss in the second and final Test in Dhaka.

The last time England visited India in 2012-13, they won the Test series 2-1. And that was the last time India lost a Test at home, back in 2013.

It would be a big task for Alastair Cook to re-instate the confidence in his team when they would take on the No.1 Test side, that too in their den.

The schedule for the five-match Test series is as follows:

First Test in Rajkot (November 9-13), Second Test in Visakhapatnam (November 17-21), Third Test in Mohali (November 26-30), Fourth Test in Mumbai (December 8-12) and the Fifth and the Final Test in Chennai (December 16-20).

England squad: Alastair Cook (Captain), Moeen Ali, Zafar Ansari, Johny Bairstow (WK), Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Gareth Batty, Stuart Broad, Jose Buttler, Ben Duckett, Steve Finn, H Hameed, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Gautam Gambhir, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Karun Nair, Mohammad Shami, Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya. (ANI)

New Delhi [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday congratulated the Indian Women's Cricket Team for winning the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier 2017.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Feb. 21 (ANI): England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has emerged as the most expensive overseas player in the Indian Premier League's (IPL) history, has insisted that the amount of Rs. 14.5 crores that the Rising Pune Supergiants are paying him is a "life-changing" one.

Full Story >>

Mumbai [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): Mumbai's middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav has been asked for an explanation by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) after retweeting a post on the micro-blogging website that questioned his omission from the team for the Inter-state T20 tournament.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Feb. 21 (ANI): Shaharyar Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has insisted that a positive message would be sent across the international cricketing community if they can successfully host the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore.

Full Story >>

Dhoni to lead Jharkhand in Vijay Hazare Trophy

Updated: Feb 21, 2017 19:42 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare National One Day tournament, beginning February 25.

Full Story >>

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Feb. 21 (ANI): The Indian Women's team on Tuesday came out with yet another stupendous performance as they defeated South Africa by a solitary wicket to clinch victory in the thrilling final of the ICC 2017 Women's World Cup Qualifiers here at the P Sara Oval.

Full Story >>

Pune [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): India head coach Anil Kumble has insisted that his team are wary of Australia's aggressive style of play but said that the hosts would put together strategies in place to counter that during the four-match Test series starting on February 23 here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): With a vision to promote and develop professional boxing in India, IOS Boxing promotions on Tuesday announced the signing of 13 more boxers to their pool.

Full Story >>

Pune [India], Feb. 21 (ANI): Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon has insisted that his team are ready for the "big challenge" which they would face in the four-match Test series against India beginning Thursday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium.

Full Story >>

Barbados [West Indies], Feb.21 (ANI): West Indies opening batsman Kieran Powell, who played his last international game in June 2014, has been recalled in the 15-member ODI squad for three-match series against England beginning March 3 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Full Story >>

BMC polls: Sachin Tendulkar casts his vote

Updated: Feb 21, 2017 13:58 IST

Mumbai [India], Feb.21 (ANI): Former Indian cricketer and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar today cast his vote, along with his wife Anjali, at a polling booth in Mumbai along with his wife to cast their votes in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections.

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Feb.21 (ANI): Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman has been recalled in the 16-member Test squad for the two-match series against Sri Lanka beginning March 7 at the Galle International Cricket Stadium.

Full Story >>

Dubai [UAE], Feb.21 (ANI): Sri Lanka opener Niroshan Dickwella has been suspended for two limited-over matches after he was found guilty of 'showing dissent at an umpire's decision' during Sunday's second T20I of the three-match series against Australia in Geelong.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Lahore], Feb.21 (ANI): West Indies swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle and Sri Lankan duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have refused to travel to Lahore to play the final match of the ongoing second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), in the wake of the recent terror attacks in the nation.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.21 (ANI): Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli has expressed his gratitude to Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt after the latter congratulated the swashbuckling batsman, for signing a whopping Rs. 110 crore deal with sports brand Puma by becoming their brand ambassador.

Full Story >>

Barcelona [Spain], Feb.21 (ANI): Barcelona star striker Neymar has been ordered to appear before the court after he lost his final appeal against the corruption charges relating to his move from Santos to the Camp Nou club.

Full Story >>

Hyderabad [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): Besides England all-rounder Ben Stokes and Afghanistan cricketers Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, there was one more name which caught the attention of many at the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) Auction held on Monday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Bengaluru.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): As soon Sports Minister Vijay Goel announced a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh for the Indian blind cricket team for winning the Blind T20 Cricket World Cup, Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) on Monday said the team won't be accepting the prize as the team were "expecting more".

Full Story >>

New Delhi,[India] Feb. 20 (ANI): Jaypee Punjab Warriors goalkeeper Tristan Clemons was at his usual best yet again to help Jaypee Punjab Warriors beat Uttar Pradesh Wizards 1-0 in a crucial match of the ongoing Hockey India League (HIL) here on Monda

Full Story >>

Aizawl [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): The single goal scored by R. Laldanmawia (58') proved to be enough for Aizawl FC to register their first win over Kingfisher East Bengal in the ongoing I-League on Monday.

Full Story >>