Anil has a ‘Jumbo’ task on hand : The waiting is over. The suspense is over. The cat is out of the bag. BCCI President, Anurag Thakur, announced the appointment of the former Indian skipper, and India’s leading wicket-taker, the legendary, Anil Kumble as the Coach of Team India, albeit for one year.
Having successfully led Team India, Kumble returns to the Indian dressing room in a new avatar.
Being appointed Test captain in November 2007, Anil led India in 14 matches. He won 3, lost 5 and drew 6. He retired a year later.
Amongst his notable victories as captain, was the Perth Test in January 2008, which was played after the controversial Sydney Test where, among other issues, India faced allegations of racism.
Team India has seen different coaches both Indian and overseas, with the South African, Gary Kirsten, stealing the limelight by being behind the boys and helping them win the ICC World Cup (50-over format) in 2011, after a gap of 28 years, since they won the coveted trophy for the first time in 1983, beating the then defending champions, the mighty West Indies.
The Cricket Advisory Committee, consisting of Kumble’s former teammates, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, interviewed Kumble and a few others at Kokata and forwarded their recommendations to the BCCI President.
Speaking at a press conference in Dharmashala, Anurag Thakur said, “The CAC recommended a few names to the BCCI. After discussions with various stakeholders, we have taken the final call that for next one year Anil Kumble will be the head coach.”
He also added the support staff would be appointed after consulting with Kumble.
To function as the coach of Team India is the toughest cricketing job in the world. The coach had very little to do from the ‘core coaching angle’ when the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and even Anil Kumble were an integral part of the Playing XI. It was just about ‘man management’ with the coach occupying the ‘back seat’
However, Kumble, as the Coach, does not enjoy such a luxury. He really will have to work hard with the youngsters in the team from the coaching aspect literally, in addition to the function of man management.
A strict disciplinarian that Kumble is, he would definitely succeed in ushering in a high level of discipline and work ethics into the Indian dressing room.
Anil’s first assignment will be India’s four-Test tour of West Indies with Virat Kohli leading the team.
While just one year may be a very short term to prove one’s worth, it s expected that Kumble would put in his best efforts to justify the recommendation of the CAC and its subsequent acceptance by the Board.
Kumble is the first Indian to be appointed full-time India coach since Kapil Dev resigned in September 2000.