Kumble stresses on the importance of communicating with the players
After the Indian team’s first practice session before the first Test against England starting in Rajkot on Wednesday, India’s coach Anil Kumble said England is a quality side with players like Alistair Cook, Joe Root and also the visitor’s bowling attacking. Kumble also talked about the importance of communicating with the players, including the injured and the importance of Hardik Pandya in the team.
On Hardik Pandya: He is an extremely talented player. When he first came into IPL, he showed what he’s capable of; I think the potential Hardik has, has been seen by all. When he bowled in Dharamsala and batted in Delhi, one could see that he’s a quality player. That’s why we are backing him in this series as well. We all understand the importance of an all-rounder, as a fifth bowler and bat in the lower order, that’s a great option to have. We are keen how Hardik develops. We don’t want to put too much pressure on him, he will have all the freedom to express himself and not worry about Test cricket, whenever he gets the opportunity. He is a quality player whom we will back and yes, he will only get better. The more he plays, better he will get and it’s a nice thing to have an all-rounder in the squad.
On Karun Nair: Karun (Nair) has done all the hard yards in domestic cricket; he’s scored heavily, regularly and consistently. There was a bit of talk about him not performing for India ‘A’ in Australia, but what we are looking at is consistency and that’s why he was part of the squad against New Zealand. After that he’s got runs in the Ranji Trophy. So Rohit’s absence has opened an opportunity for Karun, but we have not decided on the combination to play with…either to go with the same combination we played against New Zealand or look at a different combination. But Karun is someone we have kept a close eye on. I am sure he will get an opportunity. And when he goes out to bat, we will back him to score runs the same way he has done for Karnataka.