Jenner was 'very helpful' - Kumble
Anil Kumble: 'I'll still be criticised, but I don't worry about that'
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Anil Kumble said that a meeting with Terry Jenner, arranged by Shane Warne, had been "very helpful" after he picked up five wickets on the second day at the Adelaide Oval. "Whenever two legspinners meet, you tend to talk about the craft," he said. "He shared his experiences, saw me bowl at the nets a couple of times, and shared some thoughts about my bowling."
Kumble reckoned that he reaped the rewards for the effort that he had put in on the opening day when he finished with 1 for 116 from 28 overs. "I didn't do anything differently, though the fields were a bit more defensive."
When asked whether the five-wicket haul would get the critics off his back, he said, "I'll still be criticised, but I don't worry about that. What's important is that I contribute to the team each time I'm given a chance. I came on this tour to enjoy myself, and to contribute when I got to play."
He said it would have been nice to have Harbhajan Singh - most likely out for the remainder of the tour - bowling from the other end, and added that he had learnt from the experiences of 1999 when he finished the tour with five wickets at 90 apiece. "I've learnt to adapt better," he said. "And the shoulder's also a lot stronger because I had it operated on."
When asked how he had to alter his bowling to suit Australian pitches, he said, "It's mainly in the field placements and the approach. You have to have a lot of patience. On a wicket like this, on the opening day, patience is essential." He admitted that India faced an uphill battle to salvage something from the Test. "We got off to a good start with the bat but then wickets fell in a clutter. Rahul [Dravid] and Laxman pulled it back. It's a good wicket, and the first target has to be to avoid the follow-on. Those two will be crucial but the rest of us will have to contribute as well."
He was typically understated when asked to rate his performance, his 21st five-for in Tests. "It's good to pick up a five-for," he said. "But it was expensive ... they scored more than 550 runs." Another five-for, and a few runs, will have to be on the menu over the next three days if India are to leave Adelaide with the series still on even keel.
Dileep Premachandran is assistant editor of Wisden Cricinfo. He will be following the Indian team throughout this Test series.