India opener looks to make amends for his previous lukewarm Caribbean tours
Bangalore: The rains relented long enough for Team India players to get in a good, long session at the National Cricket Academy nets here yesterday. New coach Anil Kumble, who had vowed to get his hands dirty, did just that, putting himself right in the middle of things, even turning his arm over just like in his good, old days.
Murali Vijay in Bangalore yesterday
Having planned for a practice game on the weekend, it was imperative for the players to get some batting and bowling in at the nets yesterday after they been confined indoors on Wednesday thanks to the monsoon rain, and they managed just that. Different pitches were used, including concrete ones, to allow the players prepare for any sort of surface that the young team might encounter on their tour of the West Indies.
Opener Murali Vijay, only one of four players in the current team to have toured the West Indies before, was naturally upbeat. "It's a great place to play cricket (the West Indies). It's a lot of fun. You can't ask for more as a sportsperson. We are looking forward to this series," said Vijay, who didn't have a great tour last time around. "Overall, the team did well, but personally it was not that great. Hopefully, I can pull it off this time," he added.
Back in the groove: Team India head coach Anil Kumble at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore yesterday. Pic/AFP
"I have been to West Indies three times before so obviously, I have a fair bit of idea how it is going to be there. But we don't know what sort of pitch is going to be given for a particular Test match, so we have to be prepared overall as a unit. I'm just looking to stick to my basics and be as consistent as possible in the season, and if I can do that, I'll be happy at the end of it," said the man from Tamil Nadu, who has made quite a name for himself at the top of the order with his consistency in India and overseas.
Naturally talk veered to Kumble, for whom this was the first full session with the team. "It has just been a couple of days for us. We had a great time with Ravi (Shastri) bhai and now Anil bhai has taken over. Hopefully we can have a good time with him and learn a lot of things from him. He's been an unbelievable cricketer for the Indian team and I am really looking forward to sharing some quality time with him," said Vijay. The camp continues today.