IND v BAN: Kumble says maintaining momentum the key

"I would like to look at it as a continuation from where we left off against England. It's been a good home season so far. We would like to take confidence from that and build on it because we have a few more Test matches after this as well," said Kumble.

Indian cricket team coach Anil Kumble having a word with Murali Vijay during the practice session at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad.   -  K.V.S Giri

“Irrespective of who the opposition is, we would like to measure ourselves by what we want to achieve and how we can attain those goals,” said Anil Kumble with the assurance that has seeped into the side he coaches.

“How we have gone about it within the group is to measure our own performances and expectations and not really look at the opposition. I think that has really worked for us so far. I don't think we need to do anything different against Bangladesh and also moving forward,” stressed India’s mentor at a press conference here on Tuesday, shortly before joining his squad in a practice session towards the one-off Test against Bangladesh from Thursday.

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“We would like to just look at it as continuation from where we left off against England. It's been a good home season so far. We would like to take confidence from that and build on it. Whether it's a series of three or five Test matches, you have to take every session of a Test as a separate unit. Test matches are about showing character and pulling back if you lost a session or continuing to keep the momentum going if you won the session. That's the hallmark of Test cricket,” said India’s former captain.

“We’d like to take every team the same way in terms of what they bring to the table. Bangladesh is an improved side. They’ve had a good outing in New Zealand. Bangladesh has some quality players, good all-rounders. It will be an interesting contest,” predicted Kumble.

The combination that could take the field was yet to be arrived at, he said. The pile of runs on the domestic circuit from Abhinav Mukund, bolstering the middle order with Ajinkya Rahane or Karun Nair posed problems of plenty. So would Hardik Pandya be kept in the mix, even if not tested in the longer format yet.

The pitch didn’t matter. “Putting in a combination which we believe can go there and win the match does,” he underscored. “People tend to look at the surface and then not give too much credit to the spinners especially when they perform in India,” he said of match-winners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. “But, at the end of it, it's the ability of the bowlers to pick up 20 wickets.”

On the perfect 10 he bagged, 18 years ago to the day, he said, “I am glad people remember and celebrate cricketing anniversaries and milestones.”

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