Former Indian cricket captain Anil Kumble has been appointed the new coach of the Indian Cricket team.
The most successful bowler for India with 619 Test and 334 ODI wickets will begin his one-year-tenure with India’s forthcoming test tour of West Indies.
Kumble was chosen over applicants like Ravi Shastri, Venkatesh Prasad and Tom Moody amongst others, by a three-member Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
Kumble is the first Indian to be appointed as full-time India coach since Kapil Dev resigned in 2000. He has no previous experience as a coach, but has mentored IPL sides Mumbai and Bangalore.
He brings to the field a sharp cricketing brain and brilliant analysis of the game. Throughout his nearly two-decade career in international cricket, Kumble fought hard, never yielded an inch; but always carried himself with dignity and grace.
Challenges in coaching an international team are different than those at age group level.
Here the focus is more on man management and ensuring the conditions are conducive for athletes to perform their best on field. Egos have to be managed, and atmosphere in the dressing rooms kept upbeat.
The coach of the Indian team is a high pressure job with constant public and media scrutiny. Kumble commands tremendous respect in Indian cricketing circles and now has a good opportunity to stamp his class as a coach –the same way he did as a player.
Virat Kohli leads a 16-man strong Indian team to the Caribbean for a four-test tour which starts with a two-day practice game at St Kitts from July 9, 2016.
The last time India toured the West Indies was in June 2011 for a three-Test series, which they won 1-0. The side travelling to West Indies is on expected lines, with most of the members from the squad which trounced South Africa 3-0 at home last year; part of it.
The only new face in the team is of Mumbai fast bowler Shradul Thakur.
Thakur made it to the team on the basis of his strong showing in domestic cricket which saw him pick up 41 Ranji Trophy wickets in 2015, and helping Mumbai win the Ranji championships.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan must score high early in the tour, or his place may go Karnataka’s K L Rahul, who is fresh from a good series in Zimbabwe and a productive IPL 2016.
Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-Captain) and Rohit Sharma will make up the middle order with Sharma and Pujara competing for one slot.
Since assuming the mantle of Test captaincy, Kohli has shown to be an aggressive and proactive captain. This attitude has led to India playing Tests with 5 bowlers.
The two all-rounders on this trip are Karnataka’s Stuart Binny and Saursahtra’s Ravindra Jadeja.
West Indies Theatre
West Indies Cricket has seen drama off field in recent times.
The players’ association has been at loggerheads with the board on many issues, leading to depleted squads representing the country.
It is however unquestionable that West Indies Cricket abounds in talent as the defending champions of U-19 and T20 Cricket World Cups.
This will be the first assignment for the Kohli-Kumble partnership.
The signs are encouraging -and much is expected of India in the Caribbean.