Coach Kumble expects to prove worth in one year
By Simon Jennings
BENGALURU (Reuters) - Former spinner Anil Kumble has no concerns over the length of his contract as India's new head coach, believing he has enough time and matches to make an impact.
Kumble, whose only coaching experience has been as mentor of the Mumbai and Bangalore teams in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament, was given a one-year term last week.
For the post, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) received 57 applications which were made available to an advisory panel that included former captains Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly and former batsman VVS Laxman.
The BCCI said Kumble was handed a one-year contract so they could review their options for one of world cricket's most challenging jobs at the end of that period.
"I am talking about a journey," former India skipper Kumble told reporters in his first press conference after bagging the job. "There are 17 test matches in the next 12 months.
"I just look at that as an opportunity to gain experience and contribute to Indian cricket."
Kumble's first assignment will be a four-test series in West Indies, after which India is set for a bumper season of home action when they will be playing 13 test matches, eight ODIs and three T20 internationals.
They start with three tests against New Zealand, while England and Australia will play five and four matches respectively. Bangladesh will also play a one-off test.
India won their last test series in the Caribbean 1-0 and Kumble was confident they would return victorious again.
"When I became captain, I never thought if I will be captain for a year or longer," the 45-year-old said. "This team has potential and we will go for wins in those 17 matches.
"There will be some hard moments but I am sure we will come out of those."
Former leg-spinner Kumble, who heads the International Cricket Council's (ICC) cricket committee, is India's most successful bowler, capturing 619 wickets in 132 tests and 337 from 271 one-day internationals.
Taking 20 wickets in tests have always been a challenge for touring India side and Kumble hoped his experience would come in handy.
"It's important the bowling group believe that they are leaders, which they are... just the mindset and whatever needs to be done," he added. "The experiences I have had as a captain or as a player will certainly help in sharing those.
"It's a different role... I understand the role of staying in the background and it's the captain who takes all the calls on the field.
"I will only assist him by giving him whatever necessary information there is in terms of strategy, progression."
(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O'Brien)