Former India captain Anil Kumble is looking forward to his new role with the team after the BCCI announced the leggie as head coach last week. Ever since his appointment, former and present cricketers have been singing his praise, saying it will help India cricket.
Along with such a prestigious position comes a sense of responsibility, of course, which the new boss seems to be ready to tackle head on. A number of questions were thrown at him during his first session with the media after his appointment. The boss' answers showcased his vision, and the confidence he has in the current crop of players in the India team.
However, it was not Kumble, but Ravi Shastri, who was the initial favourite to land the job. Kumble, after applying for the post, gradually became a leading candidate for the position of the coach. Kumble's appointment opened up a can of controversies, as Sourav Ganguly, who is one of the members of the Cricket Advisory Committee — responsible for selecting the new coach — was not present during Shastri's interview. Kumble did not want to make much comment on it, but spoke about the need of the team being above anyone else.
"It's not about Ravi or Anil. We all want the Indian team to do well. Ravi has done a great job as team director. Today it's me, tomorrow can be another man. I was the first man to call Ravi and he congratulated me," Kumble said.
However, Kumble does not have much time to make an impression as the head coach for the former leggie has only received a one-year contract.
"It could be somebody else tomorrow. I am not permanent here in this role. I have an opportunity to make a difference and I have an opportunity to be part of a journey. I am privileged and honoured to be part of this journey."
Kumble's first major test as the coach for the India team will be the tour of the West Indies, which comprises four Test matches. Virat Kohli will lead the team in the Carribbean, and he is confident of a good show in his first assignment. The coach also maintained that the captain will take all important decisions on the field, and he will only assist the team.
"We have a good team. Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay, Amit Mishra and Ishant have played there before. Some of the players have been on the 'A' tours. We have experience. I will also bring experience from my playing days."
"The role of staying in the background and it is the captain who takes all the calls on the field. I can only assist him in giving him whatever necessary information in terms of strategy, be it preparation. And whatever experience I have as a captain and player."
Kumble, who is presently in Bengaluru for his first training camp as coach, has already taken some important decisions. Sanjay Bangar and Abhay Sharma will travel to the West Indies as the batting and fielding coach, respectively. But no bowling coach has been appointed for the tour, and Kumble himself will take that role as well. One will not be surprised if there is no bowling coach during Kumble's tenure.
"I am looking to get close to the bowlers right now as I think I can do it. We are open to options but a bowling coach to West Indies looks difficult. Right now, I think I can do it."