Anil Kumble on Tuesday stressed that the additional responsibility of captaining India would not have any adverse effect on his primary role of being the spin spearhead as his side takes on Australia in the Boxing Day Test here from Wednesday.
“I don't forget for a moment that I am a bowler first and then a captain. The team does well when I play my part as a bowler,” said Kumble. Kumble also dismissed the query out of hand that in the three Tests he has been captain, he has tended to underbowl himself. "I was told by my physio the other day that on an average on all days of the Tests against Pakistan, I bowled 10 overs a day (or 50 in a Test). He said he wouldn't mind if I didn't do anything in between. So that settles the question," he said.
Kumble would need to keep his right arm turning over against an Australian batting machine which comes out firing against all opponents in all conditions.
"We have plans to put a brake on their rate of scoring. Our bowlers need to bowl in the right areas and keep them in check. I am positive and can't see any reason why we wouldn't do well," he said.
Kumble was a relieved man with no worry on count of fitness and he declared both Zaheer Khan and RP Singh as his key bowlers for the series. He also stressed that it was important his batsmen put enough runs on the board for his bowlers to come into play. "If we can do it, we are quite capable of bowling them out twice in a game," he said.
Kumble’s counterpart Ricky Ponting said the Australian bowling attack still pack a punch in the post-Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath era and has theability to trouble the Indian batsmen.
Pace spearhead Brett Lee shoulders a heavy responsibility leading an inexperienced bowling attack, but Ponting said there is more variety in the current crop.
Ponting said he was confident the current attack would be more dangerous and boast more variety than the ones that struggled to bowl India out in the corresponding home series four years ago, when McGrath was injured and Warne was suspended.
"I'm very confident in the attack that we've got, that it's going to be good enough to take 20 wickets in every Test we play this summer, so I couldn't ask for anything more," Ponting said on Tuesday.