5 reasons why Anil Kumble must be retained as India coach
#3 Emergence of key players
While debuts are common to every coach’s tenure, the ability to help a player – whether a rookie or a veteran – realize his full potential is the characteristic of a good mentor. Wasim Akram, rather famously, had described Umesh Yadav’s bowling during the limited-overs series in Australia in January 2016 as ‘unbelievable.’
He might want to use the same adjective again for the now 29-year-old, although in a different capacity. 30 wickets this season, over the space of 13 Test matches might not be a fascinating number, but if you take that from a bowler who could offer nothing else but the pace in his formative years (2011-2015), you’d realize that Yadav has come a long way.
What Ravindra Jadeja did with the ball since his comeback during the 2015 Tests against South Africa is well known to everybody. What he did with the bat this season – six scores of fifty or above, three of them being unbeaten innings including his highest Test score of 90 – was definitely worth noticing.
Ashwin’s astronomic rise as an all-rounder has been much appreciated, but Jadeja’s development as a useful lower-order batsman has been one of the highlights of Kumble’s tenure. Arguably the best spin-bowling pair in world cricket now has credentials with the bat as well.
Moreover, the emergence of spinners like Jayant Yadav – who also has a Test century to his name – and Kuldeep Yadav have proven that the graduation from the junior level has been phenomenal and that the efforts of Kumble’s former India teammate, Rahul Dravid, must be appreciated.