Tue, Apr 25, 2017 | updated 10:09 AM IST

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

Updated: Nov 06, 2016 16:57 IST      
Would like to 'measure up' to how we played against Black Caps: Kumble

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)

London [U.K.], Apr. 25 (ANI): Responding to controversial Romanian former world No1 Ilie Nastase's comments about her, American tennis legend Serena Williams has accused him of racially abusing her and her unborn baby.

Full Story >>

London [U.K.], Apr. 25 (ANI): In a major blow to Anfield fans, Daniel Sturridge could miss the remainder of Liverpool's season with a recurrence of a hip injury, which has raised a disturbing speculation that he might have played his final game for the club.

Full Story >>

CSA suspends Tsotsobe on match-fixing charges

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 23:15 IST     

New Delhi [India], April. 24 (ANI): Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday charged former Proteas bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe for breaching its Anti-Corruption Code for Personnel ("the Code").

Full Story >>

Pregnant Serena surges back to World No. 1 spot

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 20:45 IST     

Johannesburg [South Africa], Apr 24 (ANI): Just few days after announcing her pregnancy, American tennis star Serena Williams surged back to the world number one spot in the latest rankings issued by Women's Tennis Association (WTA) on Monday.

Full Story >>

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], Apr.24 (ANI): Steel Plant Sports Board produced a superlative performance as they hammered The Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd 9-0 in their Pool A clash on the fifth day of the 7th Junior National Hockey Championship 2017 (Men) 'A' Division at Aishbagh Stadium here on Monday.

Full Story >>

Skill India candidates get felicitated by Delhi Daredevils

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 19:48 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 24 (ANI): Supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of Skill India, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Daredevils met several candidates trained under Skill India at IL&FS Institute of Skills (IIS) here in the national capital on Monday.

Full Story >>

Nadal surges to fifth spot post Monte Carlo triumph

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 19:10 IST     

Johannesburg [South Africa], Apr 24 (ANI): Fourteen-time Grand Slam Champion Rafael Nadal has climbed up to the fifth spot in the latest ATP rankings after clinching a record 10th Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Apr 24 (ANI): Veteran batsman Younis Khan, who became the first Pakistani cricketer to complete 10,000 runs in Test cricket, has dedicated his milestone to his nation.

Full Story >>

Happy B'day Paaji: Kohli wishes `cricket hero` Tendulkar

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 17:48 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 24 (ANI): As legendary India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar turns 44 today, his apprentice and current skipper Virat Kohli took to Twitter to wish his `cricket hero` a very Happy Birthday.

Full Story >>

Manny Pacquiao 'not done yet' with boxing

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 15:05 IST     

Johannesburg [South Africa], Apr 24 (ANI): Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has said he wants to show that he has `not done yet in boxing` when he defends his world title against Australia's Jeff Horn in Brisbane on July 2.

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], Apr 24 (ANI): Australian batsman Shaun Marsh, all-rounder James Faulkner and fast bowler Peter Siddle were among the biggest names to miss out on the Cricket Australia's list of centrally contracted players for the 2017-18 international season.

Full Story >>

Super Boxing League to bring thrilling action to India

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 13:36 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 24 (ANI): Olympic medalist and two-time world champion boxer, Amir Khan is all set to promote boxing in India in association with the International Boxing Association (AIBA) by the launch of Super Boxing League (SBL), which will see the participation from top pugilists from India and abroad.

Full Story >>

Rohtak [India], Apr 24 (ANI): Chhattisgarh Hockey produced a dominant performance as they thrashed the Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd 9-0 in their Pool A clash of the 7th Senior National Championship 2017 (Women) 'A' Division here on Monday.

Full Story >>

Sri Lanka recall Lasith Malinga for Champions Trophy

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 12:56 IST     

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Apr 24 (ANI): Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga has been named in 15-man squad for the forthcoming Champions Trophy to be held in England and Wales in June.

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], Apr 24 (ANI): Fourteen-time Grand Slam Champion Rafael Nadal has asserted that his next target will be his home event in Barcelona, where he owns nine titles and not the French Open.

Full Story >>

Younis Khan becomes first Pakistani to score 10000 Test runs

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 11:40 IST     

Karachi [Pakistan], Apr 24 (ANI): Veteran batsman Younis Khan has become the first Pakistani cricketer to complete 10,000 runs in Test cricket as his team reached reach 201-4 in reply to West Indies' 286-10 on the third day of the rain-affected first Test here at the Sabina Park, Kingston.

Full Story >>

Jamaica Test: Pakistan reach 201-4 in reply to Windies' 286

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 11:12 IST     

Jamaica [West Indies], Apr 24 (ANI): Gritting half centuries from Babar Azam and veteran Younis Khan helped Pakistan reach 201-4 in reply to West Indies' 286-10 on the third day of the rain-affected first Test here at the Sabina Park, Kingston.

Full Story >>

Wellington [New Zealand], Apr 24 (ANI): New Zealand pacers Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne and all-rounder Corey Anderson all have been named in the 15-man squad for the forthcoming Champions Trophy to be held in England and Wales in June.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Apr 24 (ANI): Even after taking retirement from the game, Sachin Tendulkar captured the imagination of all cricket fans and he continues to do the same till date.

Full Story >>

Madrid [Spain], Apr 24 (ANI): Star striker Lionel Messi scored his 500th Barcelona goal as his team defeated Real Madrid 3-2 and come back to the top of La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night.

Full Story >>