India coach Anil Kumble played down injury concerns that have, of late, forced changes in the playing 11. India have had to field six different opening combinations since the West Indies series in July-August due to injuries and form.
“That’s (injuries) not in our control,” Anil Kumble told reporters on Tuesday. “It is part and parcel of the game. You ideally want a settled opening pair, but in the circumstances, we have done well with the replacements coming in and doing the job,” Kumble added. The fourth Test against England begins at the Wankhede Stadium from Thursday.
“Parthiv Patel came in and did really well. Rahul will have a hit today and we will see how it goes, hopefully he will be fine. But yeah, there’s something happening with the openers with regards to injury,” Kumble added.
KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan were injured during the New Zealand and England series. Murali Vijay had suffered an injury during the West Indies series.
On Tuesday, Rahul came in for practice and straightaway had a knockdown with batting coach Sanjay Bangar.
It’s not just the openers, there have been other injury concerns as well. Hardik Pandya picked up an injury in the nets and is expected to be out for six weeks. Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha too is out with a side strain.
“All I can say is that the fitness parameters have been the best (in this team) it has ever been,” said Kumble.
“It’s something we have got to live with. The good part is the other players have stood up and coped with it, like Parthiv. We are in a good space and we are not worried about it. We certainly keep track of the workloads, especially the fast bowlers,” said Kumble.
Kumble on DRS
One of the features of the series has been the trial of DRS in a Test series in India. Kumble, who is also ICC cricket committee chairman, said he would not like to keep the scores but said it’s been a good experience so far. “It’s been an experiment that has been happening in the series. It’s been really good. The important thing is if we have taken the right call at that point of time.”
While the Indian team is in a dominating position in the series, there are a few concerns like opener Murali Vijay being tested by the short balls, after a brilliant start at Rajkot.
But, Kumble backed his player and said he was among his most consistent batsmen. “It is not a concern (short ball) for Vijay. A big score is just around the corner for him.”