Don't see any reason why India cannot win abroad, believes coach Anil Kumble
Indian coach also lavishes praise on Ravindra Jadeja for emerging from the shadows.
What’s the story?
Having exuded dominance in the recently completed home season, the million dollar question surrounding the Indian team will be if they can replicate their success away from home. Head coach Anil Kumble has declared that his troops possess enough firepower to win outside the subcontinent as well.
At the end of India’s 2-1 series victory against Australia, Kumble spoke about the effort put in by the Indian team, “We spoke about it that we will take one series at a time, one match at a time, one session at a time. To come back from 1-0 down – when you could see there were tired bodies around, it was brilliant. (Ajinkya) Rahane led the team brilliantly after losing the toss. The fast bowlers throughout the season have bowled brilliantly. The positives have been adapting to conditions.”
“We have had almost 25 players starting from West Indies (series). All 25 have stood up in different conditions. Even the new home venues, we didn’t know how those pitches would behave. Everybody put his hand up. The one area we need to improve is catching. (Ravindra Jadeja) Jaddu was brilliant through the season. He has always been in the shadows but he has now come out of it. With this kind of line-up, with the lower-order contributions, I don’t see any reason why we can’t win abroad.”
From 13 Tests in this home season, India have won 10 matches and suffered defeat on only one occasion. Currently on a streak of seven consecutive Test series (including victories in Sri Lanka and West Indies), Kohli’s team have opened up a significant lead at the top of the Test rankings.
The heart of the matter
Interestingly, their success has come on the back of crucial experience gained from a gruelling round of away tours. From 13 Tests in South Africa (2013/14), New Zealand (2014), England (2014) and Australia (2014/15), India under MS Dhoni’s captaincy were able to manage only one victory (at Lord’s) and suffered as many as seven losses.
Eager to acclimatise their players to different types of pitches, the team management and curators ensured that quite a few Tests in this home season were played on seam-friendly conditions. While the Eden Gardens Test against New Zealand saw the teams battle it out on an unusually green-tinged surface, the Dharamsala Test against Australia took place on a rapid pitch.
India’s next Test assignment will be the 3-match series in Sri Lanka during July-August. Seeing as they won the series last time they played in the island nation, expectations on them are pretty high. However, the year-end tour to South Africa will kick start a challenging round of tours outside the subcontinent.
With the seamers contributing immensely to their victorious run in recent times, India are steadfastly developing a formidable pace attack. However, as Kumble himself admitted, the catching remains a major concern. If they can improve on that front, Kohli’s side have a reasonable chance to push opposition teams to the brink away from their comfort zone too.