The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kumble praises fellow bowlers

Chennai: Anil Kumble is not the sort to get overboard with performances. Rather, he presented a calm and composed picture at the end of the opening day of this second Test.

A congratulatory pat from Ravi Shastri over, he concentrated on applying an icepack to get rid of the stiffness in his bowling shoulder. That done with, it was time for a quick bite.

“I don’t think it was a good first day wicket since there was hardly anything for the fast bowlers.

“I just concentrated on bowling a good line. Once a couple of wickets fell, things started to fall into place for us,” Kumble, who finished with five for 30, said.

“The toss was crucial and when we lost it we tried to go out there and play positive. It’s a new wicket we’re playing on and we were not sure how it would behave. We were happy to restrict West Indies to just 167.

“I concentrated on mainly bowling wicket-to-wicket. Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) kept the other end going. The important wickets were, however, picked by Zaheer (Khan) and (Jawagal) Srinath and that helped us a lot,” the leg spinner, who turned 32 Thursday, added.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s wicket, however, will remain special for him. “Obviously, Chanderpaul was special. He has scored heavily against us on so many occasions and it was good to get him today. Parthiv (Patel) took a brilliant catch as there was quite a bit of extra bounce in that delivery.”

He had a word of encouragement for the young wicketkeeper. “Patel is doing well and I think he has a bright future ahead of him,” Kumble remarked.

He felt that the early introduction of the spinners did not create much problems. “That was expected after having a look at the pitch. There was no trace of grass and very similar to the one in Mumbai.”

Despite the criticism from various quarters over his indifferent form, Kumble insisted that he was under no additional pressure coming into this series.

“I have never felt any pressure at any stage of my career. My job is to go out there and get wickets and there is no need to worry about what others say. I know, at the end of the day, that I have put in my 100 percent.

“People will talk and write different things. I’m not here to answer critics. I don’t think such things push me harder. I have my own expectations to live up to.

“I feel that I can still deliver with the ball and I will keep playing as long as I feel that way. When I can’t do that, I will know and people will also come to know,” Kumble signed off.

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