Harsha Bhogle welcomes Anil Kumble's appointment as India's new head coach
Popular cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle may not be seeing eye to eye with the BCCI these days, after his infamous sacking from the IPL’s panel of commentators just prior to the start of the T20 tournament, but he was quick to praise the board's decision to appoint Anil Kumble as Team India's new head coach, stating that the legendary Indian leg-spinner was the best man for the job.
The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), comprising of Indian legends Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, entrusted by the BCCI for choosing India’s new coach, had selected Kumble in favour of former Team India director Ravi Shastri earlier on Thursday. Bhogle, who also appreciated the good work done by Shastri during his two-year association with the side, was full of praise for Kumble, who he termed as a person of impeccable character.
“He (Kumble) has never disappointed me as a person. To me, his character shone through, among many occasions, twice. The one in Antigua is well documented where he bowled with a fractured jaw (it was actually moving, that is why it was taped!) but just as much in 2001 when India were preparing to play Australia,” Bhogle said in his Facebook post.
“John Wright was a new coach, Kumble was recovering from surgery (might have had his shoulder in a sling!) but was at the camp throughout to help the team prepare. His relationship with Harbhajan began there. There were rivals at times but whenever Kumble was around, Harbhajan performed better,” Bhogle added, expressing hope that Kumble will have a similar impact of Ravichandran Ashwin who has been suffering from an indifferent form of late.
“I will be watching his relationship with Ashwin closely, especially since Ashwin admitted to us that he grew up idolising him,” he said.
Bhogle also hailed Kumble as a born leader but feels it will be altogether different ball game for India’s leading Test wicket-taker in his role as a guide for India’s two skippers – a calm and composed MS Dhoni and the aggressive Virat Kohli.
“I have always felt Kumble was a born leader, always willing to wade into a situation. Ganguly often talked about Kumble looking at him, literally asking for the ball, even when he was 0-100 on a flat deck. Now though, he will be the support staff for it is always the captain's team. I will be curious to see how he handles this situation,” Bhogle said.
He expressed full confidence that Kumble will remain in charge for more than the one-year contract he has handed for now.