Harbhajan Singh feels Anil Kumble can help India win on good pitches
Harbhajan Singh who over the years has been Anil Kumble’s partner-in-spin in the Indian team spoke to the Indian Express about his expectations on what the veteran leg-spinner would bring to the table as India’s coach. He believes Kumble to be the greatest match-winner India has ever produced and thinks that his hard-work, talent, well-preparedness and will for achievement are the best assets he brings to his new job.
Singh expects his former team-mate to bring more discipline into the team while not intruding into the players’ personal space. The Indian off-spinner is of the opinion that Kumble will remain in the background as much as John Wright or Gary Kirsten but will have a great relationship with the players and always help them to improve as a team.
“Anil Bhai is always good with helping out with tactics. Even in Tests, he would come to you and tell, try this, try that. Let’s try this, both of us can bowl tight next 8 overs or so. He has a good brain to turn to as he can adapt, and think according to match situations and these are all helpful for young bowlers,” he said.
Harbhajan Singh feels Kumble was the most serious among the senior players but was always there to help him with cricket tips and improvement suggestions. He stated, “When he would set-up the field, I would observe and he would tell, try bowling this line, try that”.
The off-spinner maintained that the new coach’s intelligence and great knowledge of the game is one of the things that the team can benefit from and that the youngsters can learn a lot from him. “He would be a kind of coach who would work out the way to get the best of the boys. He would communicate clearly. He is sorted in the head and will command lot of respect. He would say and do the right sort of stuff to get the right result,” Harbhajan was quoted saying.
Singh recalls Anil Bhai’s philosophy towards the game that is sure to come in handy as coach. Kumble believes in trying till the last ball as you never know what can be achieved. The Turbanator, as the offie is fondly known, stated that there are qualities from his captaincy that Kumble may bring over as coach like always picking the best 11 and telling players who have missed out precisely why they are not playing, thereby earning respect from his players.
Speaking about India’s way forward under the new coach, Bhajji is confident that Anil Bhai would teach Indians how to win Tests on good tracks and recalls what Kumble had once told him that may become the mantra of the team’s journey onward. “We are together in this, Don’t worry Bhajji. We shall fight it out as a team,” the legendary spinner had told him once.
Harbhajan Singh hopes to share the dressing room with Anil Kumble again and is looking forward to earning his place back in the playing XI.