High­lights

India Today - - SPORT -

Makes his TEST DE­BUT on the tour of Eng­land at Old Tra ord

GRABS 6 FOR 12 against West Indies in Cal­cutta, a NEW IN­DIAN RECORD, and wins In­dia the Hero Cup

PICKS UP 105 TEST and 61 ODI WICK­ETS, to be named as one of Wis­den’s CRICK­ETERS OF THE YEAR

Be­comes THE SEC­OND MAN, af­ter Eng­land’s Jim Laker, to take ALL 10 WICK­ETS in an in­nings gainst Pak­istan at Kotla

Bowls 14 OVERS on the third day of the fourth Test against West Indies in An­tigua with a heav­ily STRAPPED BRO­KEN JAW

Takes 24 WICK­ETS over three Tests, af­ter be­ing LEFT OUT of the first, as In­dia draw the se­ries against Aus­tralia

GOES PAST Kapil Dev as IN­DIA’S LEAD­ING TEST WICKET-TAKER in Dhaka

Slams his MAIDEN TEST HUN­DRED—17 YEARS into his ca­reer—at The Oval in Lon­don Be­comes TEST CAP­TAIN af­ter 118 MATCHES

Grabs his 600TH TEST WICKET when he claims An­drew Sy­monds’s wicket on the sec­ond day of the Perth Test would be in the XI as lone spin­ner. But ‘Anil bhai’ never flinched. If his own sac­ri­fice meant that the team would ben­e­fit, he would read­ily do it,” he says, adding that he’s most ex­cited at Kum­ble’s new role be­cause “we are lucky to have him in the dress­ing room again”. But while the con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sages pour in—Su­nil Gavaskar has pre­dicted Kum­ble as head coach means “In­dian cricket will soon see ac­chhe din” and Kapil Dev has called it a “bold move that will lend more teeth to In­dian cricket”—he has much to do.

The crit­i­cal ques­tion he has to an­swer is how he en­vis­ages the role of a coach in cricket, and what sort of phi­los­o­phy he will em­brace. What makes this an in­ter­est­ing dis­cus­sion is that a cricket coach is tra­di­tion­ally dif­fer­ent from a man­ager in foot­ball or bas­ket­ball. In those sports, the ac­tion is so fast-paced and the work­load of in­di­vid­ual play­ers so high that a man­ager is needed to over­see strat­egy from the side­lines. Cricket, on the other hand, is played at a more leisurely pace, al­low­ing a cap­tain to take the call, with the coach play­ing a sup­port­ing role rather than be­ing the boss. Teams where coaches gets overassert­ive have al­most al­ways floun­dered—for ex­am­ple, the dis­rup­tive ten­ure of the al­ways-in-the-spot­light Greg Chap­pell as the Team In­dia coach be­tween 2005 and 2007.

Ask Kum­ble about his idea of coach­ing, and he, while not say­ing it in as many words, sug­gests he’ll be as far re­moved from the ‘Chap­pell Way’ as pos­si­ble. “It’s im­por­tant for a cricket coach at this level to un­der­stand that he’s not a player,” he says. “My job is to be in the back­ground, to give play­ers my in­puts so that they can make in­formed de­ci­sions. Once the match starts, the cap­tain calls the shots. I can just make sure he has all the tools at his dis­posal, the right prepa­ra­tion, and use var­i­ous en­ablers to en­sure the play­ers are mo­ti­vated.”

From the coaches he has worked age is in the mid-20s. Some­one like Vi­rat, the leader of the Test team, has played about 40-odd Tests. The most ex­pe­ri­enced is Ishant, with about 65. There is a lot for them to im­bibe, to learn, to grow. I feel the time is right for me to give some­thing to this unit, and give some­thing back to the game.”

So, for a gen­er­a­tion that grew up watch­ing Kum­ble and thought he was done rolling his arm over for In­dia, the ap­point­ment comes as a happy sur­prise. The new coach of the In­dian team prom­ises to roll his arm—in the nets, away from the spot­light—over and over again. Fol­low the writ­ers on Twit­ter @_ku­nal_prad­han

and @vikrant­gupta73

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