Greg Chappell believes the partnership of Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli will work out well for India
Australian legend and former coach of the Indian cricket team, Greg Chappell welcomed the appointment of Anil Kumble as India’s new coach stating that the legendary leg-spinner can form a formidable partnership with Test skipper Virat Kohli to take India forward in the right direction, cricket.com.au reports.
Cricket pundits from all over the world have voiced their support in unison over the decision to name Kumble as the man to lead charge of the Indian side starting with the four-match Test series against West Indies in July. While former India coach Kapil Dev had praised Kumble’s courage and hard-working nature as his key qualities, Chappell claimed that an indomitable will was Kumble’s greatest asset and that "he was the heart to Rahul Dravid’s soul" when the latter was made skipper by the Australian.
"Kumble was never one to blow his own trumpet, but no one ever needed to be told that he was giving the team everything that he had. Whether with the bat or the ball or in the field, Kumble competed with a tenacity that few Indian players have surpassed," Chappell said.
The former Australian skipper is looking forward to the partnership of the aggressive Virat Kohli, who is a sure-shot successor to MS Dhoni’s throne in the shorter formats of the game, and the calm and composed Kumble but believes the duo can work wonders for Team India.
"The greatest asset that Kumble has is that he has a captain who has a robust self-belief, is courageous and who will lead by example in all areas," he said.
Chappell did, however, have a word of caution to those who are expecting overnight success claiming that Kumble should be given ample support and time to impart his methodology to the side.
"The level of expectation that has greeted Kumble’s appointment borders on unrealistic so, unless he gets the support of all of the key stakeholders, it may prove to be too much even for his indomitable spirit," he added.
Chappell responds to Ganguly’s jibe
The 67-year-old, who had a troubled two-year stint with the Indian cricket team, often running into various controversies with senior cricketers, none more than the infamous feud with Sourav Ganguly, the former skipper and one of the three members of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that recommended Kumble’s name for the post, hasn’t seem to forgotten the past as he took the opportunity to respond to Ganguly’s jibe earlier this month.
Never one to shy away from a confrontation, least of all when it is with an Australian, Ganguly, speaking in the aftermath of being handed the responsibility of finding the new coach along with former teammates Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, had said that he would not be making the same mistake he did in the past by recommending Chappell’s name to the BCCI as John Wright’s replacement in 2005.
"I once had an opportunity to select the coach. I thought I messed it up in 2005," Ganguly told Indian media. "I’m given that opportunity again. Hopefully, we will do it correctly this time. Luckily, I have got support in Sachin, VVS, the BCCI secretary and president. Together we will pick the right person."
Chappell responded by claiming that he was simply trying to change the Indian mindset of relying their natural talent to see them through rather than working upon it to become better performers. Taking a direct shot at Ganguly, Chappell said the 43-year-old was selfish and unwilling to change, leading to their ugly confrontation.
"If they had been blessed to have been surrounded by other selfless individuals whose only aim was to serve the team, the Indian teams in which they played would have been impossible to beat," Chappell wrote in The Hindu newspaper. "Too often in the past, Indian teams have tried to take short-cuts rather than work hard so any success has been fleeting."
"It was something that I was appointed to change, but it needed key players, not least of all the captain (Ganguly), to buy-in and lead by example. Sadly, this didn’t happen until Dravid was appointed and the next 12 months brought some consistent success because of the change at the top," he added.