Despite home advantage Proteas a challenging squad: Kumble

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Chennai, Mar 22 (UNI) Hoping for an encore of the performance Down Under in the impending three Test series against the Proteas, Team India's new Test captain Anil Kumble today said the South Africans were no pushovers and that the weather does not play spoilsport.

Addressing a joint press conference along with the new coach, former South African batsman Gary Kirsten, Kumble said ''the last time when they came here for a two Test series, they put up a great show. We drew the first Test at Kanpur and managed to win the second at Kolkata with great difficulty.'' ''They have some great players in the team and they have proved again that they perform well on the subcontinent through their victories in Pakistan and Bangladesh'', the wily Karnataka leg- spinner, who is the third highest wicket taker in Test matches next to Lankan off spinner Muthiah Muralidharan and his legendary Aussie counterpart Shane Warne, said.

Kumble, who will be leading India in what would be his second series as captain, said ''it would be a challenging series although we have the home advantage as the South Africans have always done well against us.'' Answering questions on how he expects the series against South Africa to go by way of sledging vis-a-vis the Aussie tour, Kumble said '' this series should be remembered for good cricket rather than sledging, I am looking forward to this.'' Kumble, who is also to be felicitated by the BCCI here on March 25, a day before the first test at the M A Chidambaram stadium, for having claimed 600 Test wickets, said he had a look at the wicket and it looks ''good''.

''Yes, I had a look at the wicket today. It should aid spin'', Kumble added when asked if the spinner friendly Chepauk pitch would see the bowling department emphasising on spinners.


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