Ind vs Eng 4th Test: Fitness in Indian team are at its best, says Anil Kumble

Updated: Dec 13, 2016, 12:56 IST | Subodh Mayure

India head coach Anil Kumble convinced team's fitness parameters are at their best; negates theory of injuries being caused by too much work in the gymnasium

India skipper Virat Kohli stretches with a teammate during a training session at the Wankhede stadium ahead of the fourth Test match against England in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/AFP
India skipper Virat Kohli stretches with a teammate during a training session at the Wankhede stadium ahead of the fourth Test match against England in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/AFP

Virat Kohli's Indian team, leading the five-match Test series against England 2-0, go into the fourth Test tomorrow at the Wankhede Stadium oozing with confidence. However, the Indian team has been plagued with injury concerns right from the New Zealand series in October. Even former India Test skipper Dilip Vengsarkar was concerned about the situation, saying recently that too much time at the gym could be the reason for the problem.

But India's head coach Anil Kumble said that injuries are part and parcel of the game and that, "fitness parameters of the current Indian team are the best that it has ever been".

"I am sure it is a personal opinion, but the coach and the current Indian coaching staff, the strength and conditioning coach plus the physio are happy to sit and clarify because Dilip is someone whom we really respect and he also holds a very responsible position as Director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). I think it is important. Since we are in Mumbai, we definitely won't mind sitting and having a chat because in today's cricket, injuries are part and parcel of the game," said Kumble, while addressing the media prior to the team's practice session at Wankhede yesterday.

"I have played in the '90s where fitness and strength conditioning was a personal, and not a team choice. In the 2000s, the culture changed and you could see the difference of a team in the 2000s. Now, it is part and parcel of modern cricket," the former Test skipper added.

So far KL Rahul, Murli Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir and Hardik Pandya are on the injured list. "It is not in our control. "There is something happening with the openers in terms of injuries, I hope that doesn't go on. There has to be a stop at some stage. I am sure Rahul will have a hit today and will be fine, let's see how it goes," said Kumble.

Opener Vijay got out thrice while facing short-pitched deliveries in six innings against England this series, but Kumble reckons it's not a big problem for the Tamil Nadu batsman.

"Vijay is someone who has been the most consistent batsman over the last couple of years for us. He started off the series very well with a hundred in Rajkot and he has got out to similar kind of deliveries which is something probably you can pinpoint as his weakness. I don't think that's fair. A big score could be just round the corner. He did that in the first innings of this series," said Kumble.

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