I love his aggression; I was also aggressive : Anil Kumble on Virat Kohli

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I love his aggression; I was also aggressive : Anil Kumble on Virat Kohli

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Arun S Kaimal


Indian team coach Anil Kumble on Monday praised Test skipper Virat Kohli’s aggressive game, saying he also used to be aggressive in his playing days. The coach also played down the fears about R Ashwin’s fitness and said the blow suffered by the off-spinner during practice was not serious.

The Indian Test captain, and newly appointed coach faced questions from the media together for the first time, after the end of the preparatory camp in Bengaluru. Ahead of their departure to the West Indies for the four-Test series, Kumble seemed happy with the skipper’s natural aggression and said that he will be the last person to curb someone’s natural instincts.

“I love his aggression. I was no different. I was also aggressive. Very different in terms of the way we probably came across on the field. You do not want to curb someone’s aggression. I will be the last person to curb anyone’s natural instincts. But, of course, we all know how important it is to be a part of the Indian cricket team and the ambassadors of India. There is a thin line and I am sure everybody in the team knows that,” said Kumble.

I love his aggression. I was no different.

Anil Kumble on Kohli

The coach also allayed fears about the fitness of R Ashwin, who suffered a blow off Mohammed Shami during the practice on Monday morning, by saying that it was just a bruise.

“It’s a bruise. We will determine how it seems in the next one hour. It just happened, but it doesn’t look too serious,” said Kumble.

Also read: Anil Kumble | Can the legendary bowler transform into a great coach?

Apart from questions to the coach, the skipper also faced some and was asked to describe how he felt about first few days under the new coach.

“The camp was really good, four days we practiced in the nets and two days we did match simulation. It was very realistic practices and Anil bhai’s (Kumble) experience is a big boost to the bowlers, because he can tell them in a different style. Plus, batsmen are also taking their responsibility. We worked on reverse swing, sweeping against spin. It was very specific practices,” said the Indian skipper.

Kohli also opened up about the team bonding session they had yesterday and said that it was important to have sessions like those to build camaraderie in the team.

“We had a team activity yesterday evening. It was a surprise from Anil bhai. Actually, we thought it would be a serious session, but it was a very fun activity. I think these team bonding sessions are necessary, because it will help us building the comradery in the team and it will also help us executing the plans on the field with each of us understanding the other’s mindset.

"I enjoyed it a lot, I am sure everyone enjoyed it. Dhoni bhai (MS Dhoni) was also there, he had come for the meeting, and he also enjoyed it. He also wished the team for the upcoming season,” said Kohli.

The Indian skipper also confirmed that Wriddhiman Saha will remain the first-choice wicket-keeper for the tour and KL Rahul will only come into consideration for the wicket-keeping role in the case of an injury to Saha.

“When Rahul has played in the past he has played well. He has usually come and replaced players who have been out of form. Having said that, Saha is our first-choice keeper because he is a specialist. KL is good (as a keeper) and he will be useful if Saha is injured, but the preference is for the specialist,” said the 27-year-old.

The first Test of the four-match series is scheduled to start on July 21 and India will have two opportunities to acclimatize with the conditions with two warm-up games scheduled to take place before the first game. 

Also read: Sachin v Kohli - The end to the endless debate on who is the greater of the two

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