Kumble confident of beating Lanka at home

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Colombo, Jul 15 (UNI) Describing the upcoming series as 'challenging', Indian Test captain Anil Kumble said his team is confident of upstaging hosts Sri Lanka at home.

''It is certainly a challenging series, but nice to go back with the win. It needs a pretty good hard work and we are well prepared for it,'' Kumble told mediapersons at the launch ceremony of the trophy for the three-match Test series.

When asked to comment on new Lankan spin sensation Ajantha Mendis who was intrumental in India's defeat in the Asia Cup final recently, Kumble said the experienced Indian batting line-up has got the ability to take on the talented bowler.

''Ajantha is a new revelation, but our middle order battling line-up has the experience with more than 30,000 runs behind them to face any bowling attack. It will be a challenge and I am sure that our batsmen will cope with his efforts,'' he stated.

When asked whether the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni will affect the team the skipper said,''I don't think it (the absence of Dhoni) will upset the team's balance. It would be an ideal opportunity for Dinesh Karthik and Pathiv Patel to cement their place in the team.'' India will begin their tour with a three-day practice match against the Sri Lanka Board XI from Friday at the NCC sports club ground here.

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