Anil Kumble addresses media on his first day as India coach
Anil Kumble addressed the media on his first official appearance as the head coach of the Indian cricket team in Bengaluru on Wednesday. In the press conference, Kumble was asked about the Indian side and the board, along with questions on him pipping Ravi Shastri to the job. The former spinner was appointed as the coach of the national team last week, a position he took over from Duncan Fletcher. The Indian team was being coached by team director Ravi Shastri, who was assumed to be a firm favourite in the race to become India’s head coach.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had advertised about the vacant position of the head coach in early June for which they received more than 50 applications in return. The list was then streamlined and reduced to 21 men in which Anil Kumble was supposedly not a part of.
He was included in the final list on the recommendation of the Cricket Advisory Committee that included the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. Since then, Kumble had become a firm favourite to land the job.
When asked what he will bring to the Indian team, Jumbo said: “Win or lose, the fighting spirit will always be there.” He also added: “I want the Team India bowling group to believe that they are leaders.” The former spinner also said: “Ishant Sharma will lead the bowling on West Indies tour.”
Upon being asked on who will take on-field decisions, Kumble said: “Captain will take the call on the field, I will only assist him.” He added: “Players will be in front. The coaching and support staff will be in the background.”
Kumble was also quizzed about who the bowling coach will be, to which he replied: “We are considering options for bowling coach but right now I can get closer to the boys.” He added: “I’ve spoken to Dhoni and Virat about the roadmap for the future.”
Kumble also spoke about his attachment to the national team by saying that him being back in the dressing room was special. Upon being asked about Ravi Shastri, the former India Test captain said: “I was the first one to call Ravi when I was chosen as coach. He did a fantastic job. It’s not about Ravi or Anil; whoever it is, it’s about the Indian team doing well, performing to its best.”
India will travel to West Indies for their series against the hosts that begins on Thursday, 21 July. It will be Kumble’s first match in charge of the national team.