Kumble backs middle-order
Captain Anil Kumble insists India's famed middle-order are not under any additional pressure ahead of the series against Australia.
Last Updated: 26/09/08 12:13pm
India captain Anil Kumble insists his side's famed middle-order are not under any additional pressure ahead of the up-coming series against Australia.
Speculation has arisen after India lost their last Test series against Sri Lanka last month when Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman each performed poorly by their high standards.
Ganguly was subsequently dropped from the Rest of India side for the Irani Trophy, which has left him with a slender chance of making the Test team.
And there has now been calls for Dravid, Laxman and Kumble himself to be axed.
But the captain has said his players are used to the pressure, telling the Mumbai Mirror: "When we look around in the dressing room, there is no pressure on any individual.
"These are experienced players we are talking about and they have had pressure to perform throughout their career and they have handled it wonderfully well."
He added: "The Sri Lanka series is over and these guys are now looking forward to settling scores with Australia.
"Whenever we've won at home it's the batsmen who have scored the runs and that's the key."
But the leg-spinner also believes that spin will play its part.
"As usual, the spinners will play an important role as we are playing in India," he said.
"Spin is our strength and no matter what the surface, our spinners have certainly performed and we expect the same.
"We are concentrating on our strengths and we would play to our strength."
Kumble is targeting victory in the first Test - which begins on 9th October - to act as a springboard for the remainder of the series.
"Any home side is expected to win, no matter what the opposition and we would like to take that as a confidence booster," he said.
"In any series the first match is very important to get the momentum and the upper hand, and we are hoping to grab that in this series."