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Anil Kumble uncertain on India's middle-order composition, says yet to decide final XI

New Delhi: With opening pairing the biggest concern, Indian team has been oozing with talent in the middle order, the most recent example of which is Karun Nair’s triple hundred against England in Chennai.

Indian coach Anil Kumble, who addressed media two days before heading into the one-off Bangaldesh Test, answered quite a few questions including the opening pair dilemma.

Replying to a query about India’s middle-order composition, the head coach said the team has not thought about these positions as yet.

“It’s nice that Karun (Nair) took his opportunity and did what he did in Chennai. Fantastic for a young cricketer to come in and score a triple hundred. But, we all know what Ajinkya has done for this team, for India. So, his performances have been phenomenal across conditions. So, we still have not figured out what the combinations. We will take a look tomorrow and then decide,” he said.

Kumble also stressed on the importance of having a talent like Hardik Pandya in the team and asserted that he is one for the future of Indian cricket team.

“I think we certainly want to keep Hardik in the mix. Because, he is someone who has the ability to become a good all-rounder even in the longer format. That’s one of the reasons that we pushed Hardik. It’s very rare that someone can run in and bowl close to 140kmph and then bat in middle order, lower middle order. That’s the ability Hardik brings in.

“Yes, he is not really tested in the longer format. But, we certainly believe that if he is a part of the this mix and whenever the opportunity comes, we will try him out and in the future, when we travel outside of India,” he said.

He also spoke highly of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

“I was extremely pleased with Jadeja’s performance in Chennai where he varied pace and bowled much slower than what he is used to. He picked up wickets on a very good surface. People tend to look at the surface and then give not too much credit to the spinners especially when spinners perform in India. But, at the end of it , it’s the ability of the bowlers to pick up 20 wickets and Ashwin is a proven world-class bowler and to support him and also as a combination they have done well,” he said.

“You spoke about spinners dominating against England. But, then fast bowlers’ contribution you cannot take that away at all whether it was England or New Zealand. So, the home series has seen the fast bowlers coming in and contributing as well. It’s a matter of getting the partnership right whether it is fast bowlers or spinners. At the end of it, this squad certainly has the ability to pick up 20 wickets,” Kumble said.

Kumble, India’s most successful Test bowler, said they will approach the Bangladesh game session by session.

“I think every game, whether it’s a series of three test matches or five test matches, you have to take every session and the Test match as a separate unit and not really look at the series itself. It’s very different when you are playing only a one-off Test match. But, we would like to even look at a Test series as a one-off Test match, one at a time rather than look at the whole series,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

Source: Zee News