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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kumble confident top order will tame Mendis

India Test captain Anil Kumble is confident his experienced top order would cope with Sri Lanka's new spin sensation Ajantha Mendis.

Mendis, 23, destroyed India's top order in the Asia Cup final earlier this month, claiming 6 for 13, but Kumble backed his strong Test line-up to cope better than the one-day team.

"He is something we need to watch out for, although we respect every bowler we face," Kumble said at a media briefing after the team's arrival in Colombo for a three-Test series.

"Test cricket is different and we have the quality.

"Our middle order has more than 30,000 Test runs and four of them have played more than 100 Tests.

"In Tests you get more time to figure out the bowler. It will be challenging, but I am sure our batsmen will cope."

A confident Kumble is also pleased to have a full-strength bowling line-up for what he expects to be a tough series.

"We have Zaheer Khan back in the team and his experience bowling in subcontinent conditions will be useful," said Kumble.

"There is also Ishant Sharma who has really progressed well as a seamer and we have Harbhajan Singh back as well.

"We have had a good combination and in the last one year or so we have been really consistent with our performances, that's something which we will take forward."

"Whenever we tour Sri Lanka it's always been tough. It will be a lot of hard work and we are ready for that."

India begin their tour with a three-day practice match against a Sri Lanka Board XI starting on Friday, July 18.

The first Test starts on July 23 at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.

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