Anil Kumble expects India to create history in South Africa
What's the story?
Former India captain and coach Anil Kumble has predicted that India will taste a lot of success under Virat Kohli on the subsequent tour of South Africa which includes 3 Tests, 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is.
Kumble showed a lot of confidence in the 17-man squad chosen to play South Africa in their own den. "I’m confident that the team which we have will certainly go on to create history in South Africa and then beyond. That’s the confidence I have," Kumble told TOI.
He also heaped a lot of praise on Kohli and his teammates for their recent success. "I’m sure the team under Virat certainly has the capabilities to achieve that [a Test series win in South Africa] and continue all the good work they have been doing."
In case you didn't know..
In 2016, Kumble was chosen as India's coach but just a year later, resigned from the high-profile job as a result of a feud with the captain Virat Kohli. While quitting the job, he described that “the partnership between the captain and me had become untenable”. During his reign, India achieved Test series wins in West Indies and home victories over New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia, having also reached the Champions Trophy final in 2017.
The heart of the matter
India have won only two Tests in South Africa so far – Kumble had match figures of 5/56 in India's first win in 2006 – and will travel to play the hosts on the fast, pacy tracks against the dangerous pace attack of Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada (Dale Steyn would also play if Test match fit).
India's tour of South Africa begins with the first Test on January 5 in Cape Town. The series then moves to Centurion and Johannesburg before the limited-overs leg commences on February 1.
It is extremely heartening to hear Kumble sound so positive about the team despite having had his issues with captain Kohli. The faith in players of extreme calibre – Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara had notched up centuries there in 2013 with Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane closely missed out on one – can prompt them to devote a lot of effort in ensuring India create history with their first Test series win in South Africa.