Cricket expert Harsha Bhogle has lauded the BCCI for selecting “solid man” Anil Kumble as the head coach of India. He felt that two 'strong willed' individuals like Virat Kohli and Kumble are bound to have ideological differences, however, the former is likely to improve under Kumble's influence.
“I was very fortunate to see Kumble throughout his career and not once did my admiration for him dim. He was always soft spoken and dignified, picked up dinner bills, returned calls and was happy to discuss cricket and enlighten others. I always thought he was an oak, tough, reliable and willing to stand up to the storm. Sourav Ganguly says that when the opposition was rampant and the conditions were demoralising, one bowler was always looking to catch his eye. Kumble always wanted to bowl and it is a lesson that he will impart to the team under him. You never concede.
“As coach, Kumble will demand similar grit and commitment. And I believe those tough in character will enjoy playing with him. They will also realise that he will work harder for them, much the way John Wright did, that he will prepare the team and then leave it to Virat Kohli to take it onto the ground. It is sometimes easier said than done because captains are allowed to possess an instinct that takes the game on a path different from that planned,” Harsha Bhogle wrote in his column for the Indian Express.
Harsha believes that when two strong personalities like Kumble and Kohli are brought together they are bound to have some differences, and he believes that Kumble's biggest challenge will be to remain 'tough', yet, work in the background, like his predecessors.
“It is inevitable too that at some point there will be a clash of ideas between Kohli and Kumble. Sport is like that because there is never one way to play it and strong willed individuals will believe in their path. At such times it has to be Kohli’s way and it was noticeable that in his first media interaction, Kumble talked of Wright and of Gary Kirsten, people who worked in the shadows leaving the limelight for the players. Kumble’s challenge and skill will lie in being tough and yet, withdrawn,” Harsha wrote.
However, the 54-year-old feels that the BCCI could not have picked a better man for the job. “India have chosen a great performer and a solid man to be its coach,” he concluded.