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Kumble not concerned about 'important' Anderson's return

November 15, 2016 18:33 IST

England's James Anderson celebrates

IMAGE: England's James Anderson celebrates. Photograph: Lee Smith Livepic/Action Images via Reuters

India's head coach Anil Kumble has admitted that James Anderson, who is available for selection for the second Test starting on Thursday in Visakhapatnam, would definitely make England strong if included in the playing XI.

Speaking to the media in Visakhapatnam, Kumble, however, said India are not focusing on one particular bowler or batsman from the opposition.

"He (Anderson) has got 450 Test wickets. He is obviously experienced and he has played here before. So, he has been a very important player for England. You need the experience and if someone is available, then it will obviously be a stronger unit," he said.

"We would like to look England as a team, and not focus on one particular bowler or batsman. So, it would be good to have full teams from both the sides going into this Test match," he added.

Anderson, England's highest wicket taker in Tests, who was ruled out of the upcoming tour to Bangladesh due to shoulder injury, had to miss the opening Test of the five-match series against India.

In 17 Tests in Asia, he has taken 55 wickets at an average of 28.29. Under Alastair Cook's captaincy, that record is 25 wickets from seven Tests at an average of 22.64. He claimed 12 in the four-match series in 2012 which England won.

The Indian head coach also insisted that the team selection would be made only after seeing the pitch.

India’s head coach Anil Kumble at a press conference

IMAGE: India’s head coach Anil Kumble at the press conference. Photograph: BCCI

"We will make our strategy according to the pitch and will select the team accordingly. We will play according to the pitch. We play to take 20 wickets and win the Test match," he said.

The veteran leg spinner also asserted that the team would focus on to improve their catching, which let them down in the drawn first Test in Rajkot.

"If you look at only aspect where we only let ourselves down was catching. We have done really well in all the three departments in the last three and a half months that I have been part of this team or before that. This team really prides itself in batting, bowling and catching. We are aware of it (catching) going into this Test match," he said.

The legendary spinner did not blame Cheteshwar Pujara for not taking DRS for the contentious leg before decision in the second innings of the first Test.

"If you look at that, probably if Pujara would have taken DRS, we would have ended at probably 170 for 1. I don't think you can blame anyone for that. I think both batsmen felt it was not necessary."

The coach differed on the opinion that England gained advantage with their spinners taking 13 wickets compared to nine by the Indian spinners.

"It's not that we lose anything if English spinners get more wickets than Indian spinners. We will select team as per our strategy. We will play according to the conditions of the pitch. We play to take 20 wickets and win the match. Once we know the conditions, we will put a plan together," concluded Kumble.