Kumble optimist of beating Aussies in their own backyard

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Sydney, Dec 18 (UNI) Exuding optimism of doing what no other team has done so far, to beat the world champions in their own backyard, Indian captain Anil Kumble asserted that veterans are keen to do well Down Under and go back 'victorious'.

After reaching Melbourne today, Kumble said beating Australia Down Under would be a massive achievement for his side, and it will give them a great thrill to his fellow veterans like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, for whom this may well be the last Australian tour.

''Most of the senior cricketers are here on their last tour of Australia, so it's very important we go back victorious.'' ''It means a lot to all of us in the team and also it means a lot to Indian cricket,'' Kumble told reporters.

India have good reason to feel confident having won each of their last three series -- against Pakistan, England and Bangladesh -- as well as the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

''Not many teams have come here and gone home victorious, so it's a great opportunity for all of us and we look forward to that.'' ''We came pretty close to doing that the last time we came here (in 2003-04). Leading up to the (final) Sydney Test match it was 1-1 and we did extremely well in the last Test series (to draw), so it's going to be very crucial for all of us,'' he added.

India will begin their campaign with a three-day first-class match against Victoria on Thursday which will be their sole practice match before the first Test.

Though Kumble refrained from commenting over playing eleven and said that India were yet to finalise the composition of their Test side.

But the 37-year-old did notice some chinks in the armoury of the Aussies --the absence of a quality spinner. ''Definitely the spinners,'' he said.

''They will miss Warnie (Shane Warne), so that's something we can exploit.'' India will play a four match Test series in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide before Sri Lanka join them and Australia for a triangular limited-overs series.

UNI

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