Kumble keen to wrest early advantage at Eden

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali

Kolkata, Nov 29 (IANS) India captain Anil Kumble wants to build on the momentum gained from the first Test win and “turn the screws” on Pakistan early to cripple the injury-hit side in the second match starting here Friday.

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“It is for us to take the momentum from Feroze Shah Kotla and ensure that we turn the screws on early,” Kumble told reporters at the Eden Gardens.

He said the team was “raring to go” to consolidate the lead that would also assure India the series victory.

Kumble said that India should bat well to gain the advantage before the bowlers nail the opposition.

“We need to bat to our potential and we should not let them off the hook as we had done in the first innings at the Kotla,” he said.

The famed Indian batting line-up comprises Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman.

Kumble also hoped that left-handed Ganguly could play a bigger role with the ball than what he did in Delhi. “Sourav has done well in the last game, and I don’t think he should change whatever he has been doing to satisfy your definition of success,” he said.

Ganguly took three wickets with his gentle medium-pace bowling.

“I think his role as a bowler was very important for us in Kotla. I am sure he will get a bit of bowl here as well. I hope he will be more successful here than in Kotla,” said Kumble.

On the pitch, he said: “It seems to be a decent wicket and it should play well.”

On Pakistan’s spate of injuries, Kumble, who was appointed Test captain for the first time for this series, preferred to avoid a comment.

“Ideally, we should look to control what we can control,” he said.

Pakistan is beset with injuries to their mainline bowlers. Umar Gul, whose back problem recurred Thursday, is being sent back home while captain Shoaib Malik and speedster Mohammed Sami were indisposed.

Pacer spearhead Shoaib Akhtar was released from a local hospital here Wednesday but he did not practiced with the team Thursday.

Pakistan have summoned pace bowling all-rounder Yasir Arafat to replace Gul.