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'Players pumped up to show what they can do'

We will approach the Perth Test looking to win this game, it's crucial to keep the series alive, writes Anil Kumble.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2008 07:28 IST
Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble
Hindustan Times

I know a lot of people back home would probably be wondering about the decision we made to withdraw the charge against Brad Hogg. I think it's really important that you walk the talk.

It's not just enough to say that you play the game in the right spirit, it's as important to show that by your actions. Right through all that's happened over the past 10 days, I've maintained, publicly and otherwise, that whatever happens on the field should remain there.

<b1>I think as a team, we've stood by that credo. It took a bit of thinking and debate of course, but I felt that once you shake hands with someone, it's strange to get out there an hour later and accuse them of abusing you. You have to put it behind you.

I know people are asking what happens to Bhajji now. With regard to that, there is a process, it will take care of itself.
I'm pretty hopeful that that too will pan out the way we want it to. I firmly believe that if you do the right thing, make the right moves, it creates a positive ripple effect.

For now, it feels really great to be playing cricket seriously again. It's been a pretty hectic fortnight with all the off-field activities and fatigue has set in with regard to all that.

We are all really wanting to get out there and play a good, hard game of cricket, both here in Perth and in Adelaide.

Apparently, the first two days here will be very hot. It looks a good surface to bat on if you get in and will definitely have plenty of bounce and pace and carry.

We will certainly play Viru at the top of the order. Rahul should move back to his customary position, it doesn't make sense to keep rattling the order. Sourav will of course play depending on his fitness, but as he joined us this morning, he should be okay.

As for the bowling, in Perth it's always unlikely you play two spinners. We're likely to go with the third seamer option, given the wicket. While we're yet to take a call on the final XI, Irfan I think, is looking the best among the rest and given that he also gives you depth in the batting, he should be in.

We will definitely approach the match looking to win this game, it's crucial to keep the series alive. If we lose here, we're out of the series. We will keep revisiting that thought throughout the game, remind ourselves that this is where we are at, this is what we have to do to stay alive.

Looking back at the last two matches, we had our share of opportunities, we took some of them but things didn't work out.
So it's important now that we create more opportunities and ensure we grab them with both hands.

What will probably make a difference is that all the players are pretty pumped up because of everything that's gone by. They want to get out there and show what they can do. The spirit and the mood are high and that's always a good sign.

On a final note, Gary is here. He's basically sitting and watching, trying to understand individuals, understand how we train, how we prepare, making suggestions.

He'll probably do a one-on-one with everyone, give his inputs, sit down and chat with each player and once we come back after this tour, he'll take over.

For now, though, we have a match to win and a series to keep alive.

(Hawkeye/Chivach Sport)