Anil Kumble's India coaching stint set to begin today
The M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru has already seen Anil Kumble as a player, administrator and team mentor. Now, eight years after his retirement from international cricket, he returns to the stadium on 29 June as the newly elected coach of the Indian national cricket team. Kumble is set to begin his coaching career with a week-long training camp at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. The Indian team’s next tour is against the West Indies where they are slated to play a four test series.
Kumble has mentioned that he believes that one is not just the coach on a cricket field but off the field as well, and the camp is an important opportunity for the coach and the players to get to know each other and for him to work with the team before they are headed to the Caribbean. The former leg-spinner has always maintained that the Captain is the boss and this week in Bengaluru is the perfect time for Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble to begin where they left off when Kumble was the Royal Challengers mentor and start to develop a working relationship for the national team.
Perhaps the greatest asset to Kumble is a bold captain with self-belief and a winning mentality who leads by example. With the presence and influence of batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach Abhay Sharma, it is an ideal time for the team to benefit from the workings of both Captain and Coach.
Last week while talking about India’s way forward and hailing Kumble’s appointment as the new coach, Ajinkya Rahane shared his views about how important the training-camp is to be in mentally and physically preparing the players for their upcoming tour.
"The pre-tournament camp is definitely of importance because as a team we are coming together after a long time. As you [reporter] 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 [the camp] will be important to get the momentum for the first Test match and the practice games.”
India’s present squad has only Kohli, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay and Amit Mishra – from India’s last tour against the West Indies in 2011. It will be a challenge for the former India captain to guide the young players but he seems up for the challenge as proved by his three-year vision document which he showed to the Cricket Advisory Committee during his interview.
‘Anil bhai’, as he is fondly called by many of the players, has a rich history against the West Indies including the memorable Test where he bowled with a broken jaw to dismiss Brian Lara and the series next month beginning July 21st in Antigua will only reignite the flames of competition between the two nations. However, this tour is only the tip of the iceberg.
The Indan team under it’s new coach has a heavy and significant schedule ahead of them as they prepare to play 17 Test matches, 8 ODIs and 2 T20s. The training camp is vital to set the tone of positivity for India’s way forward in the next year under Anil Kumble.