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Kumble hopes for memorable farewell

On the eve of the fourth Test at the Adelaide Oval, the Indian skipper says he hopes to end his Test career in Australia on a high with a series-equalling win.

cricket Updated: Jan 23, 2008 18:22 IST

India captain Anil Kumble said on Wednesday he was hoping to end his Test career on Australian soil on a high note with a series-equalling win in the fourth and final Test at Adelaide Oval.

The 37-year-old veteran of 124 Tests is certain the Test starting on Thursday will be his last in Australia, as it is also likely to be for star batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid (both 34), Sourav Ganguly (35) and even VVS Laxman (33).

"For sure, this will be my last one in Australia so it'll be nice to go back with a victory," Kumble said Wednesday.

"It's been fantastic, this is my third trip to Australia and I've really enjoyed all three visits."

Adelaide holds a special place in Kumble's heart, for both personal and team reasons.

It was here India won by four wickets in 2003 to level the series, and that a recalled Kumble produced his breakthrough performance on Australian soil with six wickets.

He said that match was a turning point in a career that has now produced 603 Test wickets, the third highest tally ever.

"This is indeed a special venue because it all started here in 2003-04," he recalled.

"It was important that we won that Test match and the last four years have been fantastic for me personally and also for Indian cricket."

Although India will lose a wealth of experience and talent when the senior players retire, the performance of its unheralded young attack in the series has given Kumble great confidence for the future.

"It is difficult to replace anybody, we can possibly see that in the Aussie team itself," he said.

"Every team will undergo the transition and how we do that transition is going to be the key.

"India is definitely talented in what we have back home, it is just a matter of ensuring they get the confidence and in four or five years' time we'll have a good set of players who will be able to ensure that Indian cricket moves forward."

Down 2-1 after their shock win in the third Test in Perth, Kumble wants his team to win in Adelaide and square the series for the second time in as many Australian tours.

Although they can't regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Kumble said a win would provide a further shot in the arm for Indian cricket.

He is confident an Indian team will soon create history and win a series in Australia.

"In terms of results, the last visit was fantastic and even this one as well," he said.

"As a senior group we came in with the purpose of winning a series in Australia, we haven't been able to achieve that, but at least we can go back with our heads held high.

"Future Indian teams that come here will look at the performances from the past and I'm sure they'll do what we could not achieve here, so that's something I'm really proud of."