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