We have not demanded turners, says coach Kumble

Kanpur, Sep 20 (PTI) India’s chief coach Anil Kumbletoday asserted that the team has not asked for a rank turnerfor the first Test beginning on Thursday besides saying thatthat focus this long home season will only be on cricketirrespective of the conditions. "It is the first match of the home series, I knew thefirst question would be about the pitch and also the lastquestion," said Kumble ahead of the season opener, drawing aninstant laughter from the packed press conference. He further rubbished speculation that team hasspecifically asked for a turner. "Nobody is demanding anything. We will go into the gamethinking that our spinners are better. We hope the performancewe produced in the West Indies continues at home as well. Yesthere will be spin and opinions will be formed after the firstball. But since I am the coach, I can’t think like that. Wemake our plans as the game goes on," said Kumble. There has been a lot of pitch talk, which is usual beforethe start of a home series. However, Kumble, being a legendaryspinner himself, is only concerned about the cricket his boysplay in the home season comprising 13 Tests. "According to me, it is a typical Kanpur wicket. It isstart of the season, it has rained a lot and the surface hasnot been used much of late. It is looking good. Having saidthat, I believe that the talk should be about cricket that isplayed on the pitch and not the pitch. In the team meetings,we have discussed this only. Whatever wicket we get, we willadapt and play," said Kumble in his typical no nonsensemanner. Talking about the opposition, Kumble spoke highly of thevisiting New Zealand side and its spinners –leggie Ish Sodhi,left-armer Mitchel Santer and offie Mark Craig. "New Zealand have always done really well. They are notjust good at home, they tour really well. The fact that theyhave three spinners (each being different from another), yeswe watched them, at least I watched the two spinners out ofthree in T20 World Cup where they played a significant role inthe team. "Heartening to see spinners play a major role in otherteams and not just the Indian team. We respect the opponents,not just in the spin department but in all departments. Theyhave different spin variations, which you don’t see often in aforeign team." With so much of bilateral cricket played all around theworld, Kumble said there is not much of surprise element leftin the game. "I don’t think there any intrigue left. The challenge isto adapt to the conditions as quickly as possible. Equally thesame for the home team as well. You playing so much cricketand it is all about adapting to the challenges that come youway. "The home team certainly has the advantage in theseconditions but for a foreign team, the conditions are nolonger alien. Most of the New Zealand players have played inthe IPL, so they know what to expect and how to adapt," Kumblestated. PTI BS KHSKHS

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