#INDvAUS: Nothing wrong with idea of playing five bowlers, says Anil Kumble – The former India captain also put his weight behind Ajinkya Rahane, who has blown hot and cold since his comeback from injury.
Team India at a practice session ahead of the second Test in Bengaluru on Thursday (PTI)
The defeat in Pune raised a few questions about the composition of the Indian team.
India captain Virat Kohli and the team management's persistence of playing with five bowlers has put an extra bit of pressure on each of the top six batsmen. And like one saw in Pune, that pressure can sometimes get too much to handle.
The first innings batting collapse can be termed as a one-off, but a repeat show just a day later cannot.
It thus brings out the point of whether India can add more cushion to the batting line-up in this second Test by letting go of a bowler. India have had little problems in taking 20 wickets throughout this home season, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja shouldering the bulk of the burden.
Perhaps, thus, someone like spinning all-rounder Jayant Yadav can make way for a regular batsman in Karun Nair here, which will add more solidity to the Indian lower middle-order against this quality Australian bowling attack.
"I don't think so," India head coach Anil Kumble said if asked the team management needed to revisit their five-bowler theory after the Pune loss.
"It all depends on what we believe is the right combination to win a Test match, if we believe that four bowlers are enough or five bowlers are needed. Our aim is to win every game. That's the combination we'll put out there."
The former India captain also put his weight behind Ajinkya Rahane, who has blown hot and cold since his comeback from injury.
"There's no question of looking at dropping Rahane. He's scored really well. He's been extremely successful over the last couple of years. There's absolutely no question about that. In terms of the team composition, we still haven't discussed on that," he said.
Kumble said India's near-flawless run of 19 unbeaten Test matches had to be stopped by someone, while also crediting the team for achieving that feat in the first place.
"You can't keep winning every game. It had to come to an end at some point of time. But 20 (sic: 19) games in current scenario of Test cricket is quite challenging for any international side. And that's what this team has been able to do, across conditions, be it Sri Lanka, India or West Indies," he said.
The defeat in Pune was Kumble's first since taking over as head coach of the team, but the legendary leggie rather chose to look ahead at ways of turning the tide against the Australians.
"I don't want to look back. We're here to look ahead. As a coach, it's more important for me to look ahead. It (Pune) was one of those games where things didn't go our way. And you just need to move on. We have another three Test matches in the series and we are really looking forward to that," he said.