Not taking a bowling coach to West Indies is Anil Kumble's prerogative, says Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly, who turns 44 tomorrow, has quite a few things going on for him ever since he retired from playing cricket on an international level. The former captain of India has been juggling multiple responsibilities since, and we daresay, he has done very well. Recently, he was caught up in an ugly verbal spat involving former Indian Team manager, Ravi Shastri and both Ganguly and Shastri faced sharp criticism for revealing their disagreements in public.
It all began when Ravi Shastri confessed that he was disappointed after he found that Ganguly was not present when the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) interviewed him for the position of the head coach; a designation that was afterwards assigned to Anil Kumble. Things turned ugly as Ganguly, not one to take matters lying down, replied to Shastri regarding his holidaying in Bangkok when proceedings for the appointment were taking place.
Reports have also emerged that Sourav Ganguly has been working overtime in the recent past to ensure that the idea of pink-ball cricket gains some ground in India. He feels that using the pink ball in Test matches will attract greater crowds to a format of cricket that is, lately, dying a slow death with the emergence of shorter and faster formats.
In an interview to Mid Day, Ganguly spoke about the future of the Indian Cricket team and questions regarding what other roles Ravi Shastri could be offered to continue his association with the squad.
Rumors have been rife, recently, about Ravi Shastri being offered the job of batting coach for Team India and that the man had apparently declined it. When asked to confirm this, the Prince of Kolkata only said, “Yes, we offered Ravi the Indian team's batting coach post.”
Furthermore, doubts have been raised regarding Kumble's lack of coaching experience and whether his appointment was the right decision. Ever since Kumble’s appointment, Sourav Ganguly has stood by his decision and has shown full faith in his former teammate, repeatedly claiming that he believed Kumble was definitely up for the responsibility.
For India's upcoming tour of West Indies, Anil Kumble has chosen to not take a bowling coach along with the team.
This might seem a little odd to a few people but not to Ganguly. “It is Anil's prerogative. Since he is a bowler, maybe, he did not appoint a bowling coach. I also have read in the newspapers that he may rope in pace bowling coach later,” he said, before adding that the choice of a bowling coach rested entirely on Anil Kumble. The BCCI selection committee would prefer to have no say in the matter unless absolutely necessary.
The CAB President also answered questions on whether Zaheer Khan was a prospective candidate for being the bowling coach to the team but he ended up revealing absolutely nothing. “I have no knowledge about this. BCCI will have to see whether Zaheer is available for 365 days or not,” he said.
The reason Ganguly has been advocating the cause of the pink ball is because he feels it is the need of the hour. While critics have brought up the alleged fact that the pink ball needs a sufficient grass cover and that night Tests in India might make it difficult for the bowler to use a pink ball, Ganguly dismissed it all.
He had encountered the pink ball previously when he represented MCC and he said that there was not a “hard and fast rule” in place regarding the type of pitch the ball can be played on. India is set to hold its first day and night Test match during New Zealand's tour of the country, a plan which has recently been subjected to a postponement.