Ajinkya Rahane hails Anil Kumble’s appointment as India coach
Ajinkya Rahane has pledged his heartfelt support to Anil Kumble as the new coach and lauded the decision that puts the old warhorse at the helm of India’s National Team. Rahane believes that Kumble is the right man to take Indian cricket forward and believes he will himself benefit from the new coach’s tips.
"This will be my experience with Anil bhai. When I was with Mumbai Indians, he was not there, he came after the third year. A player like him becoming India's coach is a big and a good news for Indian cricket going forward.”
"He has so much of experience, he has played international cricket for so many years, definitely his tips, his importance will take Indian cricket forward.", Rahane was quoted on Cricbuzz.
It’s interesting that Rahane at an early stage of his career was at the receiving end of Kumble’s bowling. His then coach, Pravin Amre stated that while playing for Mumbai, Rahane found it extremely difficult to face Kumble’s spin, showing vulnerability to both his incoming deliveries and the outswingers, during Ranji matches against Karnataka.
Rahane will be the vice-captain for India’s upcoming tour of the Caribbean where India will play West Indies for a 4-Test series. The West Indies have done well to beat South Africa and set up a tri-series final with Australia while India had a successful tour of Zimbabwe.
This will be Kumble’s first coaching assignment after being appointed as the National Team coach and it will see him engage with the West Indies in a new role. His bowling with a broken jaw to dismiss Brian Lara remains a spectacle in cricketing history.
Speaking at IISM Mumbai, where he was present along with Nilesh Kulkarni for the institute’s 6th Convocation ceremony, Rahane told reporters:
"The pre-tournament camp is definitely of importance because as a team we are coming together after a long time. As you said, it is a long tour and right now focus is on the West Indies tour. This camp is of seven days, we will go there and play practice games. I believe it will be important to get the momentum for the first Test match and the practice games. So, as early as we adjust to those conditions and become mentally prepared, it will be good for us.”
In the Caribbean, the West Indies will be using Dukes balls rather than the SG or Kookaburra balls and the Indian players will find the practice games useful. It’s also where the vast experience of Kumble will come in handy and he can share suggestions and help the young members of the squad to adapt to the Dukes and Caribbean conditions.
Good decision to play Ranji matches at neutral venues
Rahane also shared his views about BCCI’s proposed move to play Ranji matches at neutral venues.
"It is a good decision because players will have to think. They will get an idea about their game and mentally they will become tough.
"When you play home games, you know the advantage and make the wickets accordingly. On neutral venues, there is no control in our hand and that's when the importance of the game will increase further. Players will become mentally strong and will be able to learn more about the game.”
On Thursday, Anil Kumble was named as the Coach of the Indian National Team, by BCCI’s cricket advisory committee consisting of Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
Eyes will be on both Rahane and Kumble’s performances as Vice-captain and coach respectively in the upcoming series.