While Brexit votes are still being cast, the more important result has already been declared today – Anil Kumble is the Indian team’s new head coach for the next one year beating the likes of Ravi Shastri, Stuart Law, Sandeep Patil, Pravin Amre, Tom Moody and 53 other applicants. Given that the cricket advisory committee that picked him consisted of his old buddies Sachin, VVS Laxman and Ganguly, there was little doubt that Kumble would be the front-runner for the job, despite not meeting the BCCI’s initial selection criteria in full as he had not coached at the international or first class level.
In any event, here are five reasons why we think Anil Kumble is the right man for the job.
- Quiet confidence: One could not help but feel that the Ravi Shastri-Virat Kohli combination did not give a damn about how the game was played as long as the result went their way – they almost seemed to feed off each other’s fury! Kumble played with Kohli at RCB in his formative IPL years so they will be looking to build on the existing mentor-mentee relationship. Kumble’s ice has tempered Virat’s fire in the past and he will not be afraid to speak his mind on how Team India should go about things. We foresee a more assured Indian team concerned with its own performance, rather than a team that constantly looks to get under the opposition’s skin.
- Statistical giant: Kumble will command the respect of the players even before he steps back into the dressing room. His record speaks for itself – he is India’s highest wicket taker in test matches. And yeah, and he took 10 for 74 against Pakistan.
- Upcoming fixtures: India is playing a lot of test matches at home in the next year. Test matches are won by bowlers and no one knows how to win test matches in India better than Anil Kumble. He will have a say in team composition and strategy and this could be invaluable for India in the coming months.
- Commitment: Toughness and commitment will take on a new meaning for Team India. Remember when Kumble bowled with a broken jaw and took Lara’s wicket? Combine that with a captain who plays with 8 stitches in his hand. Indian players will need to give 200% each time they step onto the field.
- Dignity: Remember Monkeygate? Kumble’s dignified handling of the sordid saga will hold him in good stead and will put him in a good position to advise Kohli on how to deal diplomatically with such incidents.
Good luck, Jumbo!