Kumble defends Kohli and India’s aggression

"I don't want to curb any natural instinct of the players as long as they go out there and do what is expected of them. I don't think we need to read too much into the aggression. Every player has his own way of having a game face," Kumble said ahead of the third Test.

Indian team coach Anil Kumble addresses a press conference before the third test match against India at the JSCA stadium, in Ranchi.   -  PTI

The surface for the game is brown with no hint of grass but does not appear to be excessively dry. The pitch could progressively assist spinners but may not prove to be a rank tuner.

Indian coach Anil Kumble had a look at the track before knocking high catches  during his team’s practise session. The Indian spin legend comprehends the importance of what could prove a pivotal third Test.

He has reasons to be pleased after India’s come-from-behind victory in Bengaluru. Key opener Murali Vijay too has recovered well from a shoulder injury and is set to play his 50 Test.

Kumble, however, realises that tempers have to cool down between the sides. The Indian coach said, “I think what was important was to bring the focus back on cricket and I am really glad that the BCCI took a mature call along with Cricket Australia to issue a joint statement that cricket needs to move on and we have moved on from whatever happened in that background.”

He said India would continue to be aggressive. “You don’t want to curb any natural instincts of the players. As long as they go out there and do what is expected of them, there are absolutely no issues with that. I don’t think we need to read too much into that aggression or body language. As custodians of this great game, we believe that it is important that we look after the game. The key stakeholders are the players and they certainly understand the responsibility on the field.”

While key individual duels have to be won, Kumble emphasised on team effort. “I think it’s India vs Australia. Individuals do stand out. We all saw what Ashwin can do; again winning a Test match for India and Jadeja going so well in the first innings. The intensity all the four bowlers bowled with, especially the fast bowlers… it was brilliant.”

On Vijay’s fitness Kumble said, “He’s fine. He is a part of the squad, so he is good.”

Asked about Jharkhand’s biggest star, the iconic M.S. Dhoni not being a part of the inaugural Test here, Dhoni said, “We miss everyone but in Ranchi without MS, for the people of Racnhi, it will be different. I hope MS will come sometime during the Test.”

Asked about speculations that he is set to become the Director of Cricket, Kumble responded, “I have also heard from the media, it is news to me, from the media. There is nothing else, no one has spoken about it.”

Right now, his eyes are clearly set on the crucial third Test. Kumble wants another victory.