Kumble rubbishes retirement plans

October 2nd, 2008 - 9:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Oct 2 (IANS) Test skipper Anil Kumble Thursday rubbished reports that the Indian cricket board had drawn up a retirement plan for senior players.”We have never discussed that among ourselves. All the talk is only in the media,” Kumble told reporters here.

Justifying the selection of former captain Sourav Ganguly for the upcoming series against Australia, Kumble said the senior players have never performed badly and it was only the media that was casting doubts on their performance after one bad series in Sri Lanka.

“It is only the media scrutiny. The board and the selectors have never scrutinised unreasonably. In terms of the players’ performance, we have performed exceptionally well, except for that one bad series in Sri Lanka,” Kumble said on the fourth day of the pre-Australia series camp at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here.

“If you go by the record, I don’t think the senior players have ever performed badly. The reason we got those results in Australia was thanks to the batsmen scoring those runs. It’s never been a problem. It’s just that, leading up to the series, media have a lot of time to speculate. I think we have the quality to do well,” Kumble maintained.

Kumble said there should have been no debate over Ganguly’s inclusion since he was part of the Test team.

“He was a part of the last Test series as well. I don’t see a change. Age does not matter at all as long as a player is doing well], otherwise I would have retired long ago.”

“I can’t divulge what happened in the selection meeting, but I don’t see any change: he was a part of the last Test team, he is a part of this series as well,” Kumble contended.

He also said that the seniors will not be under any pressure against Australia.

“We have been playing for 18 years. If we couldn’t handle that pressure we wouldn’t have played so long,” he asserted.

“The pressure is always there, we can handle that. It’s just that it needs to be a bit more respectful. When people discuss players, it needs to be handled respectfully. If that is done, we don’t mind the scrutiny. If it’s done rubbishly, and the way it’s being portrayed, it hurts.”

Asked about India’s chances in the forthcoming series against Australia, Kumble said: “This is the best possible chance we have of winning the series. We have prepared exceptionally well. So we’re looking forward to that.”

“It’s more or less the same side we played in Australia. We will certainly try to use the home advantage. We have come pretty close in the last couple of series against them, so this is a really good opportunity.”

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