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Our strong record at Kotla is a huge confidence booster

We have had strong results at the Ferozeshah Kotla for so long, writes Anil Kumble.

cricket Updated: Oct 28, 2008 11:10 IST

I should start by saying something I mentioned earlier, that I am feeling good physically, the shoulder has come along well. I had a long bowl on Sunday and again on Monday and I'm feeling fine. The break between the Tests has helped me and everyone else in the team. We've all had a chance to go back home and return fresh. This is a good time of the year, a happy time. The festive season means being together with the people you love. On behalf of the team I wish all our supporters a happy Diwali.

In these circumstances it's especially good to be in Delhi and at the Ferozeshah Kotla. It's a special place for me, not because of the 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan. But more than that, as a team we have had strong results here for so long. Every Test that I have been a part of here has been a winning one, and you can only take confidence from that.

Coming to a venue where you've had success is an interesting thing for a cricketer — you don't feel any extra pressure, but still you draw the confidence of having won in the past.

The team has come together well after the break and we've had two very good practice sessions. Being 1-0 up is a good place to be in, but in such times preparation becomes crucial. There has been a lot of talk in the last few days about what the Australians are doing, what they are hoping to achieve and that kind of thing. For me, as captain, my team is just focussing on what we need to do. We had a very good last Test and that gave us a good indication of what we need to do well. Hopefully, we can continue in that vein and wrap up the series here itself.

We know the Australians will come hard at us. We are aware of what can happen but we have the quality in bowling and batting to answer any questions they may ask of us.

It's a bit early to say anything about how this pitch will play because there's still a bit of grass on it. Of course, there is plenty of time till the first ball is bowled, and a bit of that grass may be taken off.

We'll have to wait till the morning of the match to get an accurate assessment. Whatever happens with the pitch, we're keenly looking forward to the first ball of play, and that's the best frame of mind to be in.

Hawkeye Communications

First Published: Oct 28, 2008 11:08 IST