The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dravid sees big role for Kumble

Chittagong: Rahul Dravid thinks his team is hungry for success and Anil Kumble will play a key role during the two-Test series starting here on Friday.

According to the Team India captain, the veteran leg-spinner’s experience always comes in handy on the sub-continental pitches and the upcoming challenge will be no exception either.

“Anil is a very important part of our attack in any condition. He has played a huge role for the team over the last decade and half.

“I don’t see that to be any different in this series,” Dravid said on the eve of the first Test on Thursday.

Kumble has announced his retirement from ODIs after the World Cup, but said he would carry on in the game’s longer version as long as possible. Speaking to the media the other day, he had called for a “collective effort” from his team to win the series.

The wicket at the Bir Shrestha Shahid Rahul Amin Stadium is devoid of grass and Dravid pointed out that it can break up earlier than expected due to the heat. The weather, however, remained cloudy on Thursday and the local met office has predicted rain interruptions, though briefly, on the first two days. “Once the wicket is dried up and breaks, Kumble is going to be a big role,” Dravid maintained.

Dravid, however, ruled out any special strategy for Mohammed Ashraful. The Bangladeshi vice-captain tormented India with a sparkling century the last time they met in a Test, here in 2004-05.

“We do not focus on one or two players. Ashraful is obviously a talented player and played superbly against us in the last series. Hopefully, we will not let him score that many runs in this series,” Dravid said.

However, his counterpart Habbiul Bashar admitted India held a “clear edge” over them.

“India are a hugely experienced side. The addition of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to the side makes them even stronger. They may win both the matches, but we are prepared for their challenge,” Bashar pointed out.

Bangladesh haven’t played a Test in the past year and Bashar felt it was a hindrance.

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