Kumble: 'There is competition for places in the team'

Kumble was happy to suffer from the problem of plenty, at least in the batting department and has a lot to ponder over with captain Virat Kohli over India’s team combination ahead of the first one-dayer against England on Sunday.

"The preparations have been very good and it’s good to come back into a one-day mode", said Kumble during a press conference.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Head coach Anil Kumble has a lot to ponder over with captain Virat Kohli over India’s team combination ahead of the first one-dayer against England on Sunday. But on Thursday, Kumble was happy to suffer from the problem of plenty, at least in the batting department.

On switching to ODIs

If you look back at the one-day format itself, last year we didn’t play much. The last series that we played against New Zealand was a good one. We would like to think that this is the only preparation we have before the Champions Trophy, so it’s important that we start off on a good note.

And we are confident; the preparations have been very good and it’s good to come back into a one-day mode. There’s been a lot of Test cricket, which is good. We have had great results over the last year and we would like to start off the new year on a good note.



On lack of preparation ahead of Champions Trophy

At any given point in time, we would like to put together the best team on the park. We would like to do that considering that each game is like a knockout in the Champions Trophy as well. So that’s the kind of mindset the players have. That’s the intent that the team will also have.

Like you said, there’s not much experimentation or much, probably practice in terms of combinations and in terms of what you would like to be prepared with. But no tournament can you say that this is the ideal preparation you would want, so whatever we have, we will try and get the most out of it. Results are important, so we will certainly be looking for the result.



On whether the management has identified first-choice options for the middle-order slots

I don’t think it is right for me to discuss the team combinations here. It’s a good choice that we have in the squad, with Yuvraj (Singh) coming back into the team. We all know what he’s capable of, both as a batsman and a bowler. But having said that, both Manish (Pandey) and Kedar (Jadhav) in that slot have really done well.

It’s nice to have these choices and there is competition for places in the team. That’s what you want in a team. You want healthy competition for all places. It all depends on the pitch and the surface and what we believe is the ideal combination. It is just a matter of making the right choices for that particular game.



On Ajinkya Rahane’s role in the ODI team

At this point of time he is (looked at as an opener). In One-Day format, I don’t think there's a set batting order so at this point in time, he’s still batting at the top of the order.