Mumbai: India’s chief coach Anil Kumble stated here Tuesday that it would be unfair to term Murali Vijay’s recent dismissals to the short ball as his ‘weakness’ and asserted that the team believe that a big score is round the corner for the senior opener.
“He has been one of our most consistent batsmen in the last couple of years. Agreed, that his dismissals in the last two Tests have been against similar type of deliveries. But it would be unfair to term it as his weakness against the short delivery,” Kumble pointed out. “We have been helping Vijay out at the nets, bowling to him short deliveries. I am sure that a big score from his bat is round the corner,” added the Indian coach.
Kumble also felt that India in spite of their inexperience in DRS, have handled the reviews properly and well.
“It’s been a really good experiment in the series. I am happy at the way, the players have used it, they are also satisfied… it has brought balance to the game,” pointed out Kumble. “When you have technology, why not take advantage of it. It is not a matter as to which side have used DRS better. We are happy at the way things have gone so far.”
India’s highest Test wicket-taker also informed that he is very happy at the way the bowlers have delivered… particularly the pacers. “There has been one fifer only in the three Test matches. It goes to show that everybody is contributing with the ball equally, there is no extra burden on anyone,” stated the Indian coach.
“I am very happy at the way both Umesh (Yadav) and (Mohammed) Shami have delivered whenever they have been called to. We are monitoring the workload of the two, more so that of Shami’s who has comeback after an 18-month lay-off. It is imperative we keep him fresh.
“But overall since the West Indies tour our bowlers have constantly delivered. Whenever, Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and Ishant (Sharma) have played, they have contributed substantially to the team cause. Credit to them. Virat’s (Kohli) captaincy has also been astute, he’s always planning aggressively with his field placings and the bowlers have responded also,” added Kumble.
The coach also pointed out that Ravi Ashwin has also held the lower-order batting together admirably and the feats of Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav with the bat at Mohali will no doubt boost their confidences.
“As much as I would love to have a settled opening pair, it has not been possible because of injuries to various openers. In that context, the contribution of the lower-order becomes very important,” informed Kumble.
“I have always thought Jadeja to be a very competent batsman and the 90 at Mohali will definitely boost his confidence. Aswhin has really batted controlled the lower-order well coming at No. 6,” added the man who still has a go at batsmen at the nets.
Taking into account the sensitive situation after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s demise, the BCCI has decided to ‘wait and watch’ before deciding on a possible shift of venue of the fifth Test between India and England at Chennai, December 16-20.
“Speculations are on in the media about the change in venue. This has happened after the passing away of the honourable Chief Minister. So, rather than media debate or speculation, we are making it clear that BCCI has not taken any decision with regard to the Chennai Test match,” BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke told reporters.
“We are keeping a close watch on the situation and we are taking the inputs from the local host association as to what is the mood and sentiment of the people and based on what evolves, the final decision on the (Test) match will be taken. I just wanted to clarify that because of the unnecessary speculation,” he added.
Uncapped opener Keaton Jennings conceded here Tuesday that England are under pressure being 0-2 down in the five-Test series against India but said he is hopeful that his side will throw some punches back at the hosts in the fourth game starting here on Thursday.
“When you are 0-2 down it’s pressure but I have always been taught that pressure is a privilege. My dad always wanted me to be positive and I try to spread that energy into the side,” stated Jennings. “I am generally quite a happy guy (person). But again, we’re 0-2 down and in a tough situation. So, hopefully we can throw a few jibes and throw some punches back,” added Jennings ahead of the must-win game for England.
Jennings, son of well-known coach Ray Jennings, is South Africa-born and has qualified to play for his adopted country following a four-year residence in England. He has replaced the injured Haseeb Hameed.
Asked how he would cope with the spin threat posed by India’s attack, Jennings said if he can come out on top of the Indian spinners it would a humbling experience for him.
“I leave that to you to answer in a couple of days of play. If I can play and come out with some sort of success, that would be humbling,” the left-handed batsman said. “If I don’t play then I will carry drinks, but I am looking forward to getting involved.”